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SCIENCE, POLICY AND PRACTICE
Several centre researchers were involved in the report. The report showed that Arctic ecosystems are fundamentally threatened by climate change and other impacts of human activities. It identified 19 tipping points (or “regime shifts”) that can and have occurred in Arctic marine, freshwater, and terrestrial ecosystems. These regime shifts affect the stability of the climate and landscape, plant and animal species’ ability to survive, and indigenous peoples’ subsistence and ways of life.
The report built on a large and growing body of research on environmental change in the Arctic, but added substantial new insights from resilience science. “This integration is novel, as is the focus on how Arctic people, Arctic nations, and the Arctic Council can navigate the turbulent and surprising changes that are happening,” said centre researcher Garry Peterson. He co-edited the report with Marcus Carson, of the Stockholm Environment Institute. The study also examined how Arctic people are adapting to change. It finds multiple examples of communities that have lost their livelihoods and are struggling to survive or maintain their cultural identity.
“Climate change is severely stressing Arctic livelihoods and people, and the extent to which Arctic people can build resilience to these stresses is quite limited,” said centre researcher Miriam Hultric, a lead author of the report.
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