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

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

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. 

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