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A survey of interventions to actively conserve the frozen North

Published version
Peer-reviewed

Repository DOI


Change log

Authors

van Wijngaarden, Albert 
Alfthan, Bjorn 
Kurvits, Tiina 

Abstract

jats:titleAbstract</jats:title>jats:pThe frozen elements of the high North are thawing as the region warms much faster than the global mean. The dangers of sea level rise due to melting glacier ice, increased concentrations of greenhouse gases from thawing permafrost, and alterations in the key high latitude physical systems spurred many authors, and more recently international agencies and supra-state actors, to investigate “emergency measures” that might help conserve the frozen North. However, the efficacy and feasibility of many of these ideas remains highly uncertain, and some might come with significant risks, or could be even outright dangerous to the ecosystems and people of the North. To date, no review has evaluated all suggested schemes. The objectives of this first phase literature survey (which can be found in a separate compendium (<jats:ext-link xmlns:xlink="http://www.w3.org/1999/xlink" ext-link-type="uri" xlink:href="https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.10602506">https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.10602506</jats:ext-link>), are to consider all proposed interventions in a common evaluation space, and identify knowledge gaps in active conservation proposals. We found 61 interventions with a high latitude focus, across atmosphere, land, oceans, ice and industry domains. We grade them on a simple three-point evaluation system across 12 different categories. From this initial review we can identify which ideas scored low marks on most categories and are therefore likely not worthwhile pursuing; some groups of interventions, like traditional land-based mitigation efforts, score relatively highly while ocean-based and sea ice measures, score lower and have higher uncertainties overall. This review will provide the basis for a further in-depth expert assessment that will form phase two of the project over the next few years sponsored by University of the Arctic.</jats:p>

Description

Acknowledgements: We are grateful for assistance from Oda Mulelid and Eirin Husabø for assistance in reviewing literature.


Funder: UArctic


Funder: Government of Canada


Funder: University of Lapland

Keywords

37 Earth Sciences, 3708 Oceanography, 13 Climate Action, 15 Life on Land

Journal Title

Climatic Change

Conference Name

Journal ISSN

0165-0009
1573-1480

Volume Title

177

Publisher

Springer Science and Business Media LLC