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National Assessment of
For additional information, see the Alaska Mega-Region
Links to material from the Alaska Assessment Group:
Articles from the National Assessment's Newsletter, Acclimations.
Impacts of a Warming Arctic: Arctic Climate Impact Assessment [Overview]. Produced (2004) by the Arctic Climate Impact Assessment (ACIA). Available in hardcopy from Cambridge University Press in December 2004. See also U.S.-Led International Assessment Finds Arctic is Warming Rapidly, press release (dtd 8 Nov 2004) from U.S. Department of State. (links added 8 Nov 2004). (links added 8 Nov 2004).
Impacts of a Warming Arctic: Arctic Climate Impact Assessment [Overview]. Produced (2004) by the Arctic Climate Impact Assessment (ACIA). Available in hardcopy from Cambridge University Press in December 2004. See also:(links updated posted 12 Jan 2005)
In melting Arctic, warming is now. Article (dtd 6 Jan 2005) from Christian Science Monitor.
U.S.-Led International Assessment Finds Arctic is Warming Rapidly, press release (dtd 8 Nov 2004) from U.S. Department of State.
Impacts of a Warming Climate. An 18 minute movie commissioned by the Center for International Climate and Environmental Research (CICERO; Oslo, Norway). Produced by the BBC Natural History Unit, it presents the key findings of the Arctic Climate Impact Assessment (ACIA). Distributed at the ACIA Scientific Symposium in Reykjavik in November 2004. (Open captioning by Caption Colorado under guidance from the NOAA Office of Global Programs).
The June 1997 Workshop
A workshop was held at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks, June 3-6, 1997 as part of the series of US Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) regional climate change workshops. This series of workshops is seen as a first step in a U.S. national assessment of the potential consequences of climate variability and change. The Alaska workshop focused on the likely regional impacts in Alaska and the Bering Sea expected as a consequence of global change. While considerable uncertainties still exist about the exact nature of these impacts, there can no longer be any doubt that major changes in the climate have occurred in recent decades in the region, with visible and measurable consequences. Even greater impacts are likely in the future; some of them will be positive while others will be detrimental to human activities and to wildlife. The purpose of organizing the workshop was to bring scientists and stakeholders, the people affected by change, together to discuss the future, based on what we know and what we can predict with some confidence, and to begin a dialog about possible mitigation and adaptation measures.
Issues for Analysis
An assessment workshop held in October 1998 considered a number of key sectors that are critical in the Alaska region. Five major areas were considered in which economic impacts due to climate change will probably be substantial; they were: Fisheries; Transportation, Energy, and Infrastructure; Forestry; Subsistence; and Water. Some of these impact areas cut across several of the economic sectors important in Alaska. For example, transportation affects every aspect of life in Alaska, whether it is the transport of renewable or non-renewable resources by land or by sea, subsistence activities, tourism or the day-to-day travel of the State's population. Likewise, impacts on wildlife due to climate change affect subsistence, tourism, recreation, and the environment.
Strategy for the Assessment
The impact assessment is based on a climate scenario using a combination of historical 20th century climate trends and modeling simulations derived from global climate models. The assessment summarized climate changes and their effect on the physical environment, including snow and ice features that are so important in Alaska. That was followed by a quantitative assessment focusing on socio-economic impacts. Stakeholder involvement was emphasized, along with reaching a broader public audience focused on Native communities. The Assessment document is available on the web.