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Nordic Arctic Research

Late 2005 The Nordic Council expressed a wish to survey the need for research on climate change and its consequences for the societies in the Nordic Arctic areas. The assignment, entitled ARKUFO, was given to NordForsk by the Nordic Council of Ministers in February 2007. In total some thirteen priority initiatives in five categories were identified. Below is a summary:

I. Climate models and scenarios

 Pooled Nordic resources with broad interdisciplinary expertise collected in a Nordic centre can contribute to the development of more advanced climate models and scenarios.

• Modelling of climate variations over the last 1000-10,000 years can improve on understanding of how they may develop over the next 100 years.

• Integrated scenarios (including atmos-pheric composition, pollution and other environment and social changes) will help in the development of more realistic climate models.

II. Effect of climatic processes

- Research will contribute to a better understanding of the combined effects on the Arctic ecosystem of climate changes plus other factors which can be sur-prisingly fast and large.

- Better understanding of biodiversity (including changes to vegetation zones and the variety of vegetation) help to identify weaknesses and plan ways to protect biodiversity.

- Pan-Nordic research can boost understanding of the effects of climate changes on permafrost, with conse-quences for infrastructure and the balance of greenhouse gases.

III. The vulnerability of society and adaptive strategies

• Through evaluation of adaptive mea-sures and strategies, critical analysis of decision-making, intra-sector synergies and consequences and reconnection mechanisms can be linked to measures.

• Complex and integrated vulnerability analyses on a Nordic scale can provide a practical picture of society's adaptation in the Nordic region, and improve the theoretical understanding of the problem.

• Studies on what constitutes risk and vulnerability can critically analyse risk issues and what risk is for whom (depending on age, sex, relationship, rural/urban, sector, income etc.).

• Research on adaptation aspects which will mostly occur on local level to explain why certain societies and groups cope with the risks better than others, who will adapt best and why.

IV. Monitoring

- Continual monitoring helps society understand climate change in the the Arctic, identify early warning signals and make well-informed decisions on adap-tation and mitigation.

• Nordic collaboration to improve the availability and cost effectiveness of monitoring products, i.e. use of climatic data for comparison of research.

V. General

- Holistic research on changes in the Arctic to stimulate local participation will create social capital and faith in the future in areas adversely influenced by climate change.

The complete report: Nordisk forsknings-samarbete om klimatförandringen och dess konsekvenser i Arktis – Kartlägging av kunnskaps och- koordineringsbehovet
- Tema Norden 2007:580, ISBN 978-92-893-1562-3 can be order from