Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
Hostname: page-component-59b7f5684b-8dvf2 Total loading time: 0.468 Render date: 2022-09-28T07:53:28.771Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "shouldUseShareProductTool": true, "shouldUseHypothesis": true, "isUnsiloEnabled": true, "useRatesEcommerce": false, "displayNetworkTab": true, "displayNetworkMapGraph": false, "useSa": true } hasContentIssue true

Arctic Stewardship: Maintaining Regional Resilience in an Era of Global Change

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  21 December 2012

Extract

That the Arctic is undergoing transformative changes driven in large part by external forces is no longer news. The high latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere, which are not themselves significant sources of anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases (GHGs) or short-lived climate pollutants (such as black carbon soot), are experiencing effects attributable to climate change that are equal to or greater than those occurring in any of the planet's other large regions. Prominent among these effects are rising surface temperatures, a deepening of the active layer of the permafrost, the collapse of sea ice, increases in the intensity of coastal storm surges made possible by the retreat of sea ice, the accelerated melting of the Greenland ice sheet, and the acidification of marine systems. The deposition of black carbon in the high north alone—almost 60 percent of which is thought to originate in Europe—appears to account for half or more of the increase in temperature occurring in the Arctic. Positive feedback processes, such as lowered albedo (that is, the capacity of Earth's surface to reflect incoming solar radiation back into space) following the melting of ice at sea and snow on land, have the effect of magnifying the impact of these external forces. Nowhere is the challenge of adapting to the impacts of climate change more urgent than in Arctic coastal communities confronted with the need to relocate to avoid physical destruction. And nowhere are the threats to individual species (for example, the polar bear) and whole ecosystems more severe than they are in the Arctic, where biophysical changes are outstripping the capacity of plants and animals to adapt to altered conditions.

Type
Essay
Copyright
Copyright © Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs 2012

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

References

NOTES

1 Ambio, Special Issue: The Arctic in the Earth System Perspective—The Role of Tipping Points,” Ambio 41, no. 1 (2012)Google Scholar; and Astil, James, “The Melting North,” Economist, Special Report: The Arctic, June 16, 2012Google Scholar.

2 Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme, Snow, Water, Ice, and Permafrost in the Arctic Region (Oslo: AMAP, 2011).

3 Cavalieri, Sandra et al., EU Arctic Footprint and Policy Assessment (Berlin: Ecologic Institute, 2010)Google Scholar.

4 UNEP/WMO, “Integrated Assessment of Black Carbon and Tropospheric Ozone”; www.unep.org/dewa/Portal/67/pdf/BlackCarbon/_SDM.pdf; and “Climate Change in the Arctic: Beating a Retreat,” Economist, September 24, 2011.

5 Government Accountability Office, Alaska Native Villages: Limited Progress Has Been Made on Relocating Villages Threatened by Flooding and Erosion, GAO-09-551 (Washington, D.C.: GAO, 2009)Google Scholar.

6 Larry Greenemeier, “U.S. Protects Polar Bears under Endangered Species Act,” Scientific American, May 14, 2008; www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=polar-bears-threatened.

7 UNEP/IOC-UNESCO, An Assessment of Assessments, “Why a Global Marine Assessment”; www.unga-regular-process.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1&Itemid=2.

8 Gautier, D. L. et al., “Assessment of Undiscovered Oil and Gas in the Arctic,” Science 324 (2009), pp. 1175–79CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed.

9 For an account of the idea of stewardship from the perspective of the natural sciences, see Chapin, F. Stuart III et al. , “Earth Stewardship: A Strategy for Social-ecological Transformation to Reverse Planetary Degradation,” Journal of Environmental Studies and Science 1 (2011), pp. 4453CrossRefGoogle Scholar. A social science perspective can be found in Griffiths, Franklyn, “Stewardship as Concept and Practice in an Arctic Context,” CyberDialogue, University of Toronto, 2012Google Scholar.

10 Note that what constitutes an actionable harm in one legal or political setting may not be actionable in another.

11 Leopold, Aldo, A Sand County Almanac, With Essays on Conservation from Round River (New York: Ballantine Books, 1970)Google Scholar.

12 European Commission, “Developing a European Union Policy Towards the Arctic Region: Progress Since 2008 and Next Steps,” Joint Communication to the European Parliament, Brussels, June 26, 2012.

13 European Commission, “Trade in Seal Products” (2012); http://ec.europa.eu/environment/biodiversity/animal_welfare/seals/seal_hunting.htm.

14 For a powerful account documenting how hard it is to assign responsibility for environmental harms, see Harr, Jonathan, A Civil Action (New York: Vintage Books, 1970)Google Scholar.

15 Nell Jessup Newton et al., Cohen's Handbook of Federal Indian Law (2005).

16 Berger, Thomas R., Northern Frontier, Northern Homeland: The Report of the Mackenzie Valley Pipeline Inquiry (Toronto: James Lorimer, 1977)Google Scholar; and Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples, Report of the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples (Ottawa: Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development, 1996)Google Scholar.

17 John M. Broder and Clifford Krauss, “New and Frozen Frontier Awaits Offshore Oil Drilling,” New York Times, May 23, 2012.

18 Dworkin, Ronald, Taking Rights Seriously (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1978)Google Scholar.

19 UN General Assembly, “United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples,” A/RES/61/295, 2007.

20 Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme, State of the Arctic Environment Report (Oslo: AMAP, 1997, 2002)Google Scholar.

21 “Arctic Climate Impact Assessment, Arctic Climate Impact Assessment: Report to the Arctic Council (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005); www.acia.uaf.edu/pages/scientific.html.

22 Downie, David L. and Fenge, Terry, eds., Northern Lights against POPs: Toxic Threats in the Arctic (Montreal: McGill-Queen's University Press, 2003)Google Scholar.

23 Arctic Human Development Report, a report to the Arctic Council (Akureyri, Isl.: Stefansson Arctic Institute, 2004)Google Scholar.

24 The UNHDI, developed by the UN Development Programme during the 1990s, adds measures of longevity and education to GDP per capita in an effort to provide a fuller account of human welfare. See hdr.undp.org/en/statistics.

25 Armitage, Derek, Berkes, Fikret, and Doubleday, Nancy, eds., Adaptive Co-Management: Collaboration, Learning, and Multi-Level Governance (Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press, 2008)Google Scholar.

26 Danish Prime Minister's Office, “The Greenland Self-Government Arrangement”; www.stm.dk/_p_13090.html.

27 Downie and Fenge, eds., Northern Lights against POPs.

28 Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme, Mercury in the Arctic (Oslo: AMAP, 2011)Google Scholar.

4
Cited by

Save article to Kindle

To save this article to your Kindle, first ensure coreplatform@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about saving to your Kindle.

Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Arctic Stewardship: Maintaining Regional Resilience in an Era of Global Change
Available formats
×

Save article to Dropbox

To save this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you used this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Dropbox account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

Arctic Stewardship: Maintaining Regional Resilience in an Era of Global Change
Available formats
×

Save article to Google Drive

To save this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you used this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Google Drive account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

Arctic Stewardship: Maintaining Regional Resilience in an Era of Global Change
Available formats
×
×

Reply to: Submit a response

Please enter your response.

Your details

Please enter a valid email address.

Conflicting interests

Do you have any conflicting interests? *