Alaskan meltdown: On the frontlines of climate change

    B. Sherwonit. National Parks (2004) 78(3):24-29. Spread across 32 ecoregions, Alaska's 54 million acres of national parklands are being affected by global warming in many ways, some of them obvious, others subtle. As wild landscapes change, plant communities, wildlife populations, and humans dependent on park resources must adapt or lose their niche in the ecosystem.

    Building resilience and adaptation to manage Arctic change

    F.S. Chapin III et al. Ambio (2006) 35(4):198-202. Unprecedented global changes caused by human actions challenge society's ability to sustain the desirable features of our planet. This requires proactive management of change to foster both resilience (sustaining those attributes that are important to society in the face of change) and adaptation (developing new socioecological configurations that function effectively under new conditions).

    Changing the Arctic: Adding immediate protection to the equation

    F. Huettmann, S. Hazlett. Alaska Park Science (2009) 8(2):95-96. The warming of the Arctic, the prospect of an ice-free maritime route across the top of the world, and the International Polar Year (IPY) have piqued an interest in the Arctic not previously seen. The authors describe and assess the existing protection schema and the pros and cons of increased protection in the Arctic, as well as how it links with global sustainability in monetary, biodiversity, and other terms.

    Climate change and Arctic sustainable development: Scientific, social, cultural and educational challenges

    Report and recommendations from an international expert meeting, Novotel Monte Carlo, Monaco, March 2009. The rapid rate of climatic change in the Arctic, coupled with the potential increased transmission of invasive species, greater industrialization, and rapid social change, makes understanding and conserving Arctic biodiversity an ever greater challenge. (PDF, 210 KB)

    Climate change hits Alaska's national parks

    Y. Rosen. Reuters, February 14, 2011. Since the mid-1970s, Alaska has warmed at three times the rate of the Lower 48 states, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. And with nearly two-thirds of U.S. national parkland located in Alaska, the issue of climate change is especially pressing there, officials say.

    Environmental change and potential impacts: Applied research priorities for Alaska's North Slope

    B. Streever et al. Arctic (2011) 64(3):390-397. Alaska's North Slope is at the forefront of global climate change. Appropriate management of the biotic and abiotic resources of the North Slope requires information that can be gained only through applied research. The authors provide a brief history of applied research on the North Slope, introduce the North Slope Science Initiative (NSSI) as an organization tasked with improving the coordination of science across the region, and posit applied science priorities that are essential for successful and informed management. (PDF, 3.7 MB)

    High-latitude sustainability: Options for enhancing the resilience of northern countries to rapid social and environmental change: A message to policy makers

    O. Ullsten et al. Ambio (2004) 33(6):343. The eight arctic and boreal nations are now experiencing unprecedented environmental and social changes. The following seven papers in this Ambio issue summarize results that explain why northern countries might be either unusually resilient or vulnerable to these changes. These papers result from a meeting sponsored by the Royal Swedish Academy of Agriculture and Forestry and the International Arctic Research Center to address high-latitude sustainability: Resilience and vulnerability of northern regions to social and environmental change (F.S. Chapin III et al.) The dynamics of ecosystems, biodiversity management and social institutions at high northern latitudes (T. Elmqvist et al.) Past, current and future fire frequency in the Canadian boreal forest: Implications for sustainable forest management (Y. Bergeron et al.) Global change and the boreal forest: Thresholds, shifting states or gradual change? (F.S Chapin III et al.) Institutional frameworks for sustainability? A comparative analysis of the forest sectors of Russia and the Baltic states (L. Carlsson, M. Lazdinis) Bringing feedback and resilience of high-latitude ecosystems into the corporate boardroom (G. Whiteman et al.) Geographic variations in anthropogenic drivers that influence the vulnerability and resilience of social-ecological systems (B.C. Forbes et al.)

    Minimizing extinctions in a changing climate

    Science Daily, September 18, 2011. More species could be saved from extinction under climate change thanks to a new model scientists have developed to guide allocation of conservation funding.

    Ongoing global biodiversity loss unstoppable with protected areas alone

    Science Daily, July 29, 2011. Continued reliance on a strategy of setting aside land and marine territories as "protected areas" is insufficient to stem global biodiversity loss, according to a comprehensive assessment.

    Planning to save a changing world: Alaska biologist reviews far north climate change

    A. Powell, Harvard Gazette, April 9, 2009. Terry Chapin, professor of ecology at the University of Alaska's Institute of Arctic Biology, gave an overview of global warming's effects on the United States' northernmost state during a lecture titled "Sustainability in a Changing World: Concepts and Policy Strategies to Address Climate Change in Alaska," which was part of the Harvard University Center for the Environment's Biodiversity, Ecology and Climate Change lecture series.

    Preparing for climatic change: The water, salmon, and forests of the Pacific Northwest

    P.W. Mote et al. Climatic Change (2003) 61(1-2):45-88. The impacts of year-to-year and decade-to-decade climatic variations on some of the Pacific Northwest's key natural resources can be quantified to estimate sensitivity to regional climatic changes expected as part of anthropogenic global climatic change.

    Preserving 4 percent of the ocean could protect most marine mammal species, study finds

    Science Daily, August 30, 2011. Preserving just 4 percent of the ocean could protect crucial habitat for the vast majority of marine mammal species, from sea otters to blue whales, according to researchers at Stanford University and the National Autonomous University of Mexico.

    Reindeer management during the colonization of Sami lands: A long-term perspective of vulnerability and adaptation strategies

    I. Brännlund, P. Axelsson. Global Environmental Change (2011). Reindeer husbandry's strong connection to the land, together with the ongoing climate-change debate, has generated growing interest in its socio-ecological resilience and vulnerability. Here, using historical sources, the authors analyze the vulnerability of reindeer husbandry (and the Sami societies that depended on it) in Sweden during the 19th century, demonstrating that, although reindeer management was a much more diverse enterprise at that time than it is now, the major adaptation strategy and constraining forces were similar to those of today.

    Research planning in the face of change: The human role in reindeer/caribou systems

    G. Kofinas et al. Polar Research (2000) 19(1):3-21. In February 1999, eighty scientists, reindeer/caribou users, and resource managers gathered in Rovaniemi, Finland, for an interdisciplinary workshop to develop a circumpolar research plan that addressed the sustainability of human/reindeer/caribou systems.

    Secret inner workings of the Arctic LCC revealed

    Lecture #15 in U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service's Climate Change Lecture Series, presented January 13, 2011, by Greg Balogh, Arctic Landscape Conservation Cooperative Coordinator. (WMV) [54:45 min] This interview requires the use of the Windows Media Player, which can be downloaded from Windows Media Player's Web site at no charge.

    The state of climate change adaptation in Canada's protected areas sector

    C.J. Lemieux et al. Canadian Geographer (2011) 55(3):301-317. The World Commission on Protected Areas asserts that conservation actions are likely to fail unless they are adjusted to take account of climate change and emphasizes the need for protected-areas agencies to begin mainstreaming climate change into policy, planning, and management. This article presents the results of a University of Waterloo and Canadian Council on Ecological Areas survey on the state of climate change adaptation in Canada's protected-areas sector.

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