Climatic Change

, 82:77

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

  • Henry P. Huntington
  • Michelle Boyle
  • Gwenn E. Flowers
  • John W. Weatherly
  • Lawrence C. Hamilton
  • Larry Hinzman
  • Craig Gerlach
  • Rommel Zulueta
  • Craig Nicolson
  • Jonathan Overpeck
Article

Abstract

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.

References

  1. ACIA (2005) Arctic climate impact assessment. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK, p 1042Google Scholar
  2. ADF&G (1998) Annual management report, 1997, Bristol Bay Area, regional information report no. 2A98-08. Alaska Department of Fish and Game, Division of Commercial Fisheries Management and Development, p 157Google Scholar
  3. ADF&G (1999) Annual management report, 1998, Bristol Bay Area, regional information report no. 2A99-18. Alaska Department of Fish and Game, Division of Commercial Fisheries, p 155Google Scholar
  4. ADF&G (2001) Annual management report, 2000, Bristol Bay Area, regional information report no. 2A01-10. Alaska Department of Fish and Game, Division of Commercial Fisheries, p 143Google Scholar
  5. Alley RB, Marotzke J, Nordhaus WD, Overpeck JT, Peteet DM, Pielke RA Jr, Pierrehumbert RT, Rhines PB, Stocker TF, Talley LD, Wallace JM (2003) Abrupt climate change. Science 299:2005–2010CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Amorosi T, Buckland P, Dugmore A, Ingimundarson JH, McGovern TH (1997) Raiding the landscape: human impact in the Scandinavian North Atlantic. Hum Ecol 25(3):491–518CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Auerbach NA, Walker MD, Walker DA (1997) Effects of roadside disturbance on substrate and vegetation properties in arctic tundra. Ecol Appl 7(1):218–235CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Barlow LK, Sadler JP, Ogilvie AEJ, Buckland PC, Amorosi T, Ingimundarson JH, Skidmore P, Dugmore AJ, McGovern TH (1997) Interdisciplinary investigations of the end of the Norse Western Settlement in Greenland. The Holocene 7(4):489-499Google Scholar
  9. Brigham L, Ellis B (eds) (2004) Arctic marine transport workshop, Institute of the North, Anchorage, AlaskaGoogle Scholar
  10. Cameron RD, Smith WT, White RG, Griffith B (2005) Central arctic caribou and petroleum development: distributional, nutritional, and reproductive implications. Arctic 58:1–9Google Scholar
  11. Candow JE, Corbin C (eds) (1997) How deep is the ocean? Historical essays on Canada’s Atlantic fishery. University College of Cape Breton Press, Sydney, Nova ScotiaGoogle Scholar
  12. Chapin FS, Oswood MW, van Cleve K, Viereck LA, Verbyla DL (2006) Alaska’s changing boreal forest. Oxford Press, Oxford, UKGoogle Scholar
  13. Chapman WL, Walsh JE (1993) Recent variations of sea ice and air temperatures in high latitudes. Bull Am Meteorol Soc 74:33–47. Updated 2004 at http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/index.html Google Scholar
  14. Cone J, Ridlington S (eds) (1996) The northwest salmon crisis: a documentary history. Oregon State University Press, Corvallis, OregonGoogle Scholar
  15. Costanza R, Low BS, Ostrom E, Wilson J (eds) (2001) Institutions, ecosystems, and sustainability. Lewis Publishers, New York, p 288Google Scholar
  16. Downie DL, Fenge T (eds) (2003) Northern lights against POPs: combatting toxic threats in the Arctic. McGill University Press, Montreal, p 347Google Scholar
  17. Drinkwater KF (2002) A review of the role of climate variability in the decline of northern cod. Am Fish Soc Symp 32:113–130Google Scholar
  18. Finlayson AC (1994) Fishing for truth: a sociological analysis of northern cod stock assessments from 1977–1990. Institute for Social and Economic Research, St. John’s, NewfoundlandGoogle Scholar
  19. Fischer J, Haedrich RL (1999) Changes in the temperature/depth niche occupied by demersal fishes in the northwest Atlantic between 1978 and 1993. Arch Fish Mar Res 47(1):1–15Google Scholar
  20. Fitzsimmons AK (1999) Defending illusions: federal protection of ecosystems. Rowman and Littlefield, Lanham, Maryland, p 331Google Scholar
  21. Forbes B, Ebersole J, Strandberg B (2001) Anthropogenic disturbance and patch dynamics in circumpolar arctic ecosystems. Conserv Biol 15:954–969CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Gunderson LH, Pritchard L Jr (2002) Resilience and the behavior of large-scale systems. Island Press, Washington, District of Columbia, p 240Google Scholar
  23. Haedrich RL, Hamilton LC (2000) The fall and future of Newfoundland’s cod fishery. Soc Nat Resour 13:359–372CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Hamilton LC, Butler MJ (2001) Outport adaptations: social indicators through Newfoundland’s cod crisis. Hum Ecol Rev 8(2):1–11Google Scholar
  25. Hamilton LC, Lyster P, Otterstad O (2000) Social change, ecology and climate in 20th century Greenland. Clim Change 47(1/2):193–211CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Hamilton LC, Brown BC, Rasmussen RO (2003) West Greenland’s cod-to-shrimp transition: local dimensions of climatic change. Arctic 56(3):271–282Google Scholar
  27. Hamilton LC, Haedrich RL, Duncan CM (2004) Above and below the water: social/ecological transformation in northwest Newfoundland. Popul Environ 25(3):195–215CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Hinzman LD, Goering DJ, Li S, Kinney TC (1997) Numeric simulation of thermokarst formation during disturbance. In: Crawford RMM (ed) Disturbance and recovery in arctic lands: an ecological perspective. Kluwer, Dordrecht, The NetherlandsGoogle Scholar
  29. Hinzman LD, Bettez ND, Bolton WR, Chapin FS, Dyurgerov MB, Fastie CL, Griffith B, Hollister RD, Hope A, Huntington HP, Jensen AM, Jia GJ, Jorgenson T, Kane DL, Klein DR, Kofinas G, Lynch AH, Lloyd AH, McGuire AD, Nelson FE, Oechel WC, Osterkamp TE, Racine CH, Romanovsky VE, Stone RS, Stow DA, Sturm M, Tweedie CE, Vourlitis GL, Walker MD, Walker DA, Webber PJ, Welker JM, Winker KS, Yoshikawa K (2005) Evidence and implications of recent climate change in northern Alaska and other arctic regions. Clim Change 72:251–298CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Harris M (1998) Lament for an ocean: the collapse of the Atlantic cod fishery. McClelland and Stewart, TorontoGoogle Scholar
  31. Hope AS, Fleming JB, Stow DA, Aguado E (1991) Tussock tundra albedos on the north slope of Alaska: effects of illumination, vegetation composition, and dust deposition. J Appl Meteorol 30:1200–1206CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Hutchings JA, Myers RA (1994) What can be learned from the collapse of a renewable resource? Atlantic cod Gadus morhua, of Newfoundland and Labrador. Can J Fish Aquat Sci 51:2126–2146CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Hutchings JA, Myers RA (1995) The biological collapse of Atlantic cod off Newfoundland and Labrador: an exploration of historical changes in exploitation harvesting technology, and management. In: Arnason R, Felt LF (eds) The north Atlantic fishery: strengths, weaknesses, and challenges. Institute of Island Studies, Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, pp 37–93Google Scholar
  34. IPCC (2001a) Climate change 2001: the scientific basis. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK, p 881Google Scholar
  35. IPCC (2001b) Climate change 2001: impacts, adaptation, and vulnerability. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK, p 1032Google Scholar
  36. Jackson JBC, Kirby MX, Berger WH, Bjorndal KA, Botsford LW, Borque BJ, Bradbury RH, Cooke R, Erlandson J, Estes JA, Hughes TP, Kidwell S, Lange CB, Lenihan HS, Pandolfi JM, Peterson CH, Steneck RS, Tegner MJ, Warner RR (2001) Historical overfishing and the recent collapse of coastal ecosystems. Science 293:629–638CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Johnson CJ, Boyce MS, Case RL, Cluff HD, Gau RJ, Gunn A, Mulders R (2005) Cumulative effects of human developments on arctic wildlife. Wildl Monogr 160:1–36Google Scholar
  38. Krupnik I, Jolly D (eds) (2002) The earth is faster now. ARCUS, Fairbanks, AlaskaGoogle Scholar
  39. Kruse GH (1998) Salmon run failures in 1997–1998: a link to anomalous ocean conditions? Alsk Fish Res Bull 5(1):55–63Google Scholar
  40. Lentz DL (ed) (2000) Imperfect balance: landscape transformations in the precolumbian Americas. Columbia University Press, New York, p 547Google Scholar
  41. Mattox WG (1973) Fishing in West Greenland 1910–1966: the development of a new native industry. Medd Grønl 1:197Google Scholar
  42. McGovern TH, Bigelow GF, Amorosi T, Russell D (1996) Northern islands, human error, and environmental degradation. In: Bates D, Lees SH (eds) Case studies in human ecology. Plenum, New York, pp 103–152Google Scholar
  43. McIntosh RJ, Tainter JA, McIntosh SK (eds) (2000) The way the wind blows: culture, history, and human action. Columbia University Press, New York, p 448Google Scholar
  44. Nabhan GP, Coder M, Smith SJ, West P, Kovacs ZI (2004) Woodlands in crisis: a legacy of lost biodiversity on the Colorado plateau, Bilby Research Center occasional papers, no. 2. Ralph M. Bilby Research Center, Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, p 100Google Scholar
  45. Nellemann C, Kullerud L, Vistnes I, Forbes BC, Husby E, Kofinas GP, Kaltenborn BP, Rouaud J, Magomedova M, Bobiwash R, Lambrechts C, Schei PJ, Tveitdal S, Grøn O, Larsen TS (2001) GLOBIO: global methodology for mapping human impacts on the biosphere, the arctic 2050 scenario and global application, technical report 01–3. Division of early warning and assessment, United Nations Environment Programme, Nairobi, p 47Google Scholar
  46. Nelson RH (2000) A burning issue: a case for abolishing the U.S. forest service. Rowman and Littlefield, Lanham, Maryland, p 196Google Scholar
  47. NRC (National Research Council) (2003) Cumulative environmental effects of oil and gas activities on Alaska’s north slope. The National Academies Press, Washington, District of Columbia, p 288Google Scholar
  48. Ogilvie AEJ, McGovern T (2000) Sagas and science: climate and human impacts in the North Atlantic. In: Fitzhugh WW, Ward EI (eds) Vikings: the North Atlantic saga. Smithsonian Institution, Washington District of Columbia, pp 385–393Google Scholar
  49. Palmer CT, Sinclair PR (1997) When the fish are gone: ecological disaster and fishers in Northwest Newfoundland. Fernwood Publishing, Halifax, Nova Scotia, p 103Google Scholar
  50. Rayner S, Malone EL (eds) (1998) Human choice and climate change. vol 4: Battelle Press, Columbus, OhioGoogle Scholar
  51. Redman CL (1999) Human impact on ancient environments. University of Arizona Press, Tucson, p 239Google Scholar
  52. Serreze MC, Walsh JE, Chapin FS, Osterkamp T, Dyurgerov M, Romanovsky V, Oechel WC, Morison J, Zhang T, Barry RG (2000) Observational evidence of recent change in the northern high-latitude environment. Clim Change 46:159–207CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Sider GM (1986) Culture and class in anthropology and history: a Newfoundland illustration. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UKGoogle Scholar
  54. Sinclair PR (ed) (1988) A question of survival: the fisheries and Newfoundland society, Institute for Social and Economic Research, St. John’s, Newfoundland, p 254Google Scholar
  55. Sinclair AF, Murawski SA (1997) Why have groundfish stocks declined? In: Boreman J, Nakashima BS, Wilson JA, Kendall RL (eds) Northwest Atlantic groundfish: perspectives on a fishery collapse. American Fisheries Society, Bethesda, Maryland, pp 71–93Google Scholar
  56. Vilhjálmsson H (1997) Climatic variations and some examples of their effects on the marine ecology of Icelandic and Greenlandic waters, in particular during the present century. Rit Fiskid (Journal of the Marine Research Institute, Reykjavík) 15(1):9–29Google Scholar
  57. Walker DA, Everett KR (1987) Road dust and its environmental impact on Alaskan taiga and tundra. Arct Alp Res 19:479–489CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Walker DA, Webber PJ, Walker MD, Lederer ND, Meehan RH, Nordstrand EA (1986) Use of geobotanical maps and automated mapping techniques to examine cumulative impacts in the Prudhoe Bay oil field, Alaska. Environ Conserv 13:149–160CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Washington WM, Weatherly JW, Meehl GA, Semptner AJ Jr, Bettge TW, Craig AP, Strand WG Jr, Arblaster JM, Wayland VB, James R, Zhang Y (2000) Parallel climate model (PCM) control and transient simulations. Clim Dyn 16(10/11):755–774CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Henry P. Huntington
    • 1
  • Michelle Boyle
    • 2
  • Gwenn E. Flowers
    • 3
  • John W. Weatherly
    • 4
  • Lawrence C. Hamilton
    • 5
  • Larry Hinzman
    • 6
  • Craig Gerlach
    • 7
  • Rommel Zulueta
    • 8
  • Craig Nicolson
    • 9
  • Jonathan Overpeck
    • 10
  1. 1.Eagle RiverUSA
  2. 2.Institute for Resources, Environment and SustainabilityUniversity of British ColumbiaVancouverCanada
  3. 3.Department of Earth SciencesSimon Fraser UniversityBurnabyCanada
  4. 4.Snow and Ice DivisionCold Regions Research and Engineering LaboratoryHanoverUSA
  5. 5.Department of SociologyUniversity of New HampshireDurhamUSA
  6. 6.Water and Environment Research CenterUniversity of Alaska FairbanksFairbanksUSA
  7. 7.Department of AnthropologyUniversity of Alaska FairbanksFairbanksUSA
  8. 8.Department of Biology, Global Change Research GroupSan Diego State UniversitySan DiegoUSA
  9. 9.Department of Natural Resources ConservationUniversity of MassachusettsAmherstUSA
  10. 10.Institute for the Study of Planet EarthUniversity of ArizonaTucsonUSA

Personalised recommendations