Climatic Change

, 82:77

The influence of human activity in the Arctic on climate and climate impacts


  • Michelle Boyle
    • Institute for Resources, Environment and SustainabilityUniversity of British Columbia
  • Gwenn E. Flowers
    • Department of Earth SciencesSimon Fraser University
  • John W. Weatherly
    • Snow and Ice DivisionCold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory
  • Lawrence C. Hamilton
    • Department of SociologyUniversity of New Hampshire
  • Larry Hinzman
    • Water and Environment Research CenterUniversity of Alaska Fairbanks
  • Craig Gerlach
    • Department of AnthropologyUniversity of Alaska Fairbanks
  • Rommel Zulueta
    • Department of Biology, Global Change Research GroupSan Diego State University
  • Craig Nicolson
    • Department of Natural Resources ConservationUniversity of Massachusetts
  • Jonathan Overpeck
    • Institute for the Study of Planet EarthUniversity of Arizona

DOI: 10.1007/s10584-006-9162-y

Cite this article as:
Huntington, H.P., Boyle, M., Flowers, G.E. et al. Climatic Change (2007) 82: 77. doi:10.1007/s10584-006-9162-y


Human activities in the Arctic are often mentioned as recipients of climate-change impacts. In this paper we consider the more complicated but more likely possibility that human activities themselves can interact with climate or environmental change in ways that either mitigate or exacerbate the human impacts. Although human activities in the Arctic are generally assumed to be modest, our analysis suggests that those activities may have larger influences on the arctic system than previously thought. Moreover, human influences could increase substantially in the near future. First, we illustrate how past human activities in the Arctic have combined with climatic variations to alter biophysical systems upon which fisheries and livestock depend. Second, we describe how current and future human activities could precipitate or affect the timing of major transitions in the arctic system. Past and future analyses both point to ways in which human activities in the Arctic can substantially influence the trajectory of arctic system change.

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2007