Focus Areas

Establishing a Targeted, Functional Storminess Indicator for the Alaska Region

Marine operators in Alaskan coastal waters and adjacent seas are sensitive to weather constraints. Among the stakeholder groups affected are commercial shippers (including barge operators), coastal communities, fishing vessel operators and the offshore oil and gas industry. There is a need for products that would enable “go/no-go” decisions over timescales of several days, as well as monthly to seasonal outlooks that would facilitate decisions related to scheduling and routing. This means that integrating data about wind speed, direction, and duration to create a novel metric that provides information integral to support the decision making process.

Strategies for fostering socioeconomic wellbeing in northern US and Russian communities

In Alaska, US and Yakutia (Sakha Republic), Russia, spring is known as a flood season. Rapid warming can force river ice to break up quickly and pile in tremendous jams at narrow and curved points of the rivers, flooding nearby settlements. Both Alaskans and Yakuts are prepared for ice jams, but not for the severity of their consequences. Significant funds are spent on challenging annual disaster response and recovery efforts. In addition to the financial losses, spring floods lead to injuries and loss of life, displacement and long-term evacuation of population, damage to cultural or heritage sites, loss of means of livelihood, and ecosystem resource loss. Crippling costs may be reduced, and community wellbeing improved, through a cross-society and cross-disciplinary approach to mitigating the problem.

Tundra Lakes Project

This research provides an assessment of the physical, biological and chemical implications of mid-winter pumping of tundra ponds. The oil industry and support services withdraw water from freshwater lakes and ponds to build ice roads and pads in the Arctic for increased access to remote sites. This technique allows oil field development or maintenance while avoiding the environmental disturbance associated with construction of gravel roads and pads.

Human Adaptation to Climate Change in Alaska: Overview and Recommendations for Future Research and Assessment. Technical Report #16-1

Publication Date: 
May 2017

The magnitude of climate warming in Alaska and the Arctic has been more than twice the global average, and related terrestrial and marine impacts are well established. As such, there is a need for climate adaptation as well as a need for research that directly informs adaptation practice. We report results of a pilot assessment of climate change adaptation across a range of natural resource dependent sectors in Alaska and provide recommendations for conducting climate adaptation research and assessment in Alaska. Sectors addressed include forestry/wildfire, coastal vulnerability, Native subsistence food harvest, commercial fishing, the oil and gas industry, shipping and maritime transport, and terrestrial infrastructure. Planning, research, and monitoring occur at a broad range of scales from international to local, however adaptation actions occur largely at a local scale with a few instances of state and regional scale action. Adaptation actions are analyzed according to Pelling’s (2010) classification of purposeful/ incidental, planned/ spontaneous and proactive/reactive revealing intermediary categories, further analysis of which has the potential to provide useful insights for adaptation research and action. Multi- and cross-sector research and assessment is also important in the region due to cumulative and cascading climate impacts.

Keywords: adaptation; Alaska; Arctic; assessment; climate change; multiple sectors; planning; coping; disaster risk management; boundary organizations

Recommended Citation:  Trainor, S. F., Walsh, J. E., Gamble, J. B. (2017). Human Adaptation to Climate Change in Alaska: Overview and Recommendations for Future Research and Assessment. Technical Report #16-1. International Arctic Research Center, University of Alaska Fairbanks. 

ACCAP Annual Report 2014

Publication Date: 
June 2014

The 2014 annual report to the NOAA Climate Program Office, Climate Societal Interactions, Regional Integrated Science and Assessment, covers the performance of the Alaska Center for Climate Assessment and Policy for the period June 1, 2013 - May 31, 2013.

The dynamic controls on carbonate mineral saturation states in a glacially dominated estuary: Glacier Bay, Alaska (Poster)

Publication Date: 
September 2013

Stacey Reisdorph1 and Jeremy T. Mathis2

1University of Alaska Fairbanks, School of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences, 245 O’Neil Bldg., Fairbanks, AK 99775 USA

2NOAA – Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory

This poster was presented at the U.S. Ocean Acidification (OA) Principal Investigators’ Meeting is organized by the Ocean Carbon and Biogeochemistry (OCB) Ocean Acidification Subcommittee held at Gallaudet University’s Kellogg Conference Center in Washington D.C. on September 18-20, 2013. The goal of this meeting was to bring the OA community together in order to discuss and assess the direction of OA research in the U.S. and to strengthen scientific collaboration among a wide range of related fields. The meeting included a number of plenary talks, panels and breakout discussions that look to explore current OA research and shortfalls, as well as poster sessions where current research was presented. 

Decision-Making for At Risk Communities in a Changing Climate

Publication Date: 
January 2010

A planning guide prepared by ACCAP informs decision-makers on issues relating to climate change and uncertainty, risk management, and relocation planning. Includes water and wastewater utilities case studies and an example planning checklist.

Impacts of Climate Change and Variability on Hydropower in Southeast Alaska

Publication Date: 
November 2010

This report is useful for consideration in the planning process for hydropower, as well as in the management of existing water resource infrastructure. It includes a methods template that could be used for other climate impact studies.

Alaska River Break-up: Historic comparison and 2017 Spring Outlook - What can we expect?

Crane Johnson and Rick Thoman, National Weather Service

Tuesday, April 11, 2017 at 10:00 AM AKDT
Speaking: 
Crane Johnson and Rick Thoman, National Weather Service
We will present a brief overview of current conditions and provide our spring statewide flooding potential outlook for the 2017 spring break-up season. This will be followed by a comparison of historic breakup years and a spring/summer climate outlook.