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Arctic climate change is a wake-up call

The Arctic climate is undergoing rapid change with dire consequences for humankind and for the global environment. Our accumulated scientific knowledge about these changes is one result of a growing international political collaboration.

This topic is dealt with by scientific writer Annika E. Nilsson in her doctoral thesis: A Changing Arctic Climate: Science and Policy in the Arctic Climate Impact Assessment. She has conducted her research at the Tema Institute, Department of Water and Environmental Studies, LiU.

"Knowledge of the earth's environmental status and how on-going change affects us is critical to the ways governments choose to deal with ecological problems. That is a major impetus to explore new ways and means of gleaning useful knowledge," explains Annika E. Nilsson.

Earlier research has highlighted the issue of how research can affect political decisions in environment issues. Annika E. Nilsson has switched the perspective and shows that political interaction between countries—regional policy cooperation—can significantly expand the scientific knowledge base about global change.

Her thesis expands a study of the first full-scale analysis of how climate change affects the regional level: Arctic Climate Impact Assessment (ACIA). Annika E. Nilsson shows that regional political cooperation allows new players to enter the scene, especially the arctic indigenous peoples. It strengthens the current arguments that the Arctic region should serve as a bellwether for environmental issues.

"Our findings concern the issue of border-crossing teamwork. And of how we can close the gaps in decision-making material. There are many facts still missing," she explains, "not least concerning the complexity of social and cultural impacts of climate change among indigenous peoples."


Page manager: therese.winder@liu.se
Last updated: 2009-06-03