AACA | Adaptation Actions for a Changing Arctic

AACA | Adaptation Actions for a Changing Arctic

Climate, environmental, and socio-economic drivers may interact and amplify the difficulty in making decisions in an unpredictable and rapidly changing Arctic. Cumulative changes may increase existing pressures in the Arctic, while others may bring new opportunities. To respond to these challenges and opportunities, the Arctic Council initiated the flagship project "Adaptation Actions for a Changing Arctic" (AACA). The project is conducted under the auspices of the Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme (AMAP) and has an overall objective to enable more informed, timely and responsive decision making in a rapidly changing Arctic. Conventional assessments of climate, environmental and socio-economic issues in the Arctic have mostly focused on single drivers: climate, acidification, persistent organic pollutants, health, oil and gas exploration and development, to name just a few. These assessments have provided valuable information, but there is currently little understanding on how these drivers of change may interact, particularly in the future. An understanding of the interactions of multiple dirvers is necessary to inform stakeholders and decision makers as they respond to a changing Arctic in the future.

AACA will produce a pan-Arctic report and three reports on different pilot regions: 1) Barents Region, 2) Baffin Bay and Davis Strait Region, and 3) Bering, Chukchi, Beaufort Region. All three regions will cover both marine and terrestrial areas, and include a variety of sectors such as oil/gas, shipping, fishing, reindeer herding, tourism, natural ecosystems, services, etc. AACA will be a forward looking project focusing on short-term, medium-term (~2030), and long-term (~2080).

AACA will draw extensively on the CMIP5 resource for climate modelling and the SSPs to describe the global socio-economic drivers leading to different RCPs. We plan to "extend" these scenarios into the pan-Arctic and three pilot regions to ensure consistency and relevance of the CMIP5 runs based on the RCPs. Some regions will perform some regional climate modelling. We will also conduct a bottom-up participatory scenario process in some of the pilot regions and will go through a process comparing and contrasting the top-down extended RCPs and bottom-up participatory scenarios.

Project Contact: Glen Peters, glen.peters@cicero.oslo.no