Active conservation of the frozen Arctic.
Preserving Arctic permafrost, ice sheets and sea ice is a vital goal for minimizing impacts of global climate warming, and for enabling sustainable ways of life for Arctic communities.
In spite of political will global change due to climate warming will be inevitable, and science indicates more in the Arctic than elsewhere.
The Arctic is important to the whole planet; melting ice is raising sea levels and thawing permafrost is releasing accumulated carbon dioxide and methane.
The Peoples of the Arctic are not only victims of the challenges in the Arctic but, as custodians of global resources and values, these challenges provide opportunities and reminders of our responsibilities to show the leadership that others have failed to take.
As stewards of Arctic lands and waters its peoples must empower themselves with a deep knowledge of all possible scientific and technological now under study to deal with severe climate change globally. Many of these scientific and technical will have consequences in the Arctic even if implemented elsewhere. Knowledge and foresight are power.
There are also many discussions about technologies that might supplement emissions cuts with deliberate interventions in the climate system that could reduce some aspects of climate, e.g., remove CO2 from atmosphere, change albedo / land cover, stop glacial melting.
Northerners ought to have central roles in decisions about and knowledge-production on the development and use of technologies that could alter Arctic climates. The world needs their input and we all need to join in conversations about all the options: political, scientific and technical.
On-going activities include the EU H2020 Arctic flagship Charter project considering sustainable land use and adaptation in the Eurasian reindeer herding region, and the Nordic Council funded GRISCO on ice sheet conservation in Greenland.
Current and Planned Activities
- High Level Seminar: October 11-12 2022, and pre-assembly public session, Greenland (Nuuk and Ilulissat), Reykjavik (Arctic Circle Assembly)
The seminar will bring together experts and stakeholders with the objective of reassuring stakeholders in Arctic communities that the Thematic Network on Frozen Arctic Conservation is respecting the Arctic peoples’ opinions and collaboratively seek strategies to deal with the rapidly heating Arctic. Gain endorsement/approval/acceptance of continued research in the topic through co-production of knowledge in Greenland and other places. Co-produce knowledge on interventions in the cryosphere and solar geoengineering. A key topic is an ocean/glaciological intervention aimed at conserving the Greenland ice sheet/empowering communities. This may be to design the icesheet outlet Jakobshavn glacier/Ilulissat fjord configuration, or slow/control retreat of the Northeast Greenland ice stream (79N/Zacharie Glacler). Discussion on solar geoengineering and sustainable land management methods (e.g. EU Charter project).
- Co-design and community engagement in Ilulissat, Greenland on the Greenland ice sheet Jakobshavn glacier and fjord system, in particular impacts on halibut fisheries. This will be done with community workshops and youth activities. A Youth Science-Art competition and exhibition will be inaugurated in Nuuk in October, and then will travel to the Arktikum exhibition space in Rovaniemi.
- Co-design with reindeer herders in the Eurasian Arctic and their commissioning of research in potential sustainable land use practice and its climate feedbacks.