Population, climate, and electricity use in the Arctic integrated analysis of Alaska community data
- 333 Downloads
Towns and villages of Arctic Alaska experience substantial year-to-year variations in weather, overlaid on longer-term warming trends. Community populations often are changing as well, reflecting highly variable net migration, overlaid on longer-term trends of natural increase. Both environmental and population change affect Arctic communities’ energy needs. Energy needs in the Arctic tend to be high and expensive, posing challenges to communities’ long-term viability. In this paper, we analyze relationships between weather, population, and one important measured component of energy—community-level electricity consumption. Electricity for the most part is generated locally from diesel fuel, which has a local environmental footprint as well. Taking a new approach to the integrated analysis of climate and human-dimensions data, we apply mixed-effects modeling to time series of electricity, weather, population, and price indicators across 42 Alaska towns and villages. Population dominates annual variations in electricity use, showing both general and community-specific effects that are strongest in the regional centers. Weather also affects electricity use, but for different reasons than it does in more urban areas to the south. Given population stability, a warming climate should lead to lower electricity demand. Population growth can override climate effects, however. Net of population, weather, and price, there has been an upward trend in per capita electricity use.
KeywordsAlaska Arctic Energy Climate Population Integrated
The research described here was conducted under the AON–SI and H3L projects, supported by grants from the Arctic Social Sciences and Arctic System Science programs at the US National Science Foundation (OPP-0638413 and ARC-0531354). The authors thank James Hamilton and three anonymous reviewers for their comments on an earlier draft.
- ACIA. (2005). Arctic climate impact assessment. New York: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
- AEA (2009a). Power Cost Equalization. Retrieved November 2, 2009, from http://www.akenergyauthority.org/programspce.html.
- AEA. (2009b). Alaska energy: A first step toward energy independence. Anchorage: Alaska Energy Authority.Google Scholar
- AHDR. (2004). Arctic human development report. Akureyri: Stefansson Arctic Institute.Google Scholar
- Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development. (2008). Methods for the Alaska population estimates. Retrieved November 2, 2009, from http://www.labor.state.ak.us/research/pop/estimates/AKPopEstMethods.pdf.
- AON–SI. (2008). Arctic Observation Network Social Indicator Project. Retrieved November 2, 2009, from http://www.iser.uaa.alaska.edu/projects/search-hd.
- Arctic RIMS. (2010). A Regional, Integrated Hydrological Monitoring System for the Pan-Arctic Land Mass. Retrieved October 31, 2010, from http://rims.unh.edu/.
- Berner, J. (2008). Alaska. In T. K. Young & P. Bjerregaard (Eds.), Health transitions in Arctic populations (pp. 53–70). Toronto: University of Toronto Press.Google Scholar
- Bogoyavlenskiy, D., & Siggner, A. (2004). Arctic demography. In the Arctic Human Development Report (pp. 27–41). Akureyri: Stefansson Arctic Institute.Google Scholar
- Burch, E. S. (2006). Social life in northwest Alaska: The structure of Iñupiaq Eskimo nations. Fairbanks: University of Alaska Press.Google Scholar
- CADIS. (2010). Cooperative Arctic Data and Information Service. Retrieved February 28, 2010 from http://www.aoncadis.org/.
- Chance, N. A. (1990). The inupiat and Arctic Alaska: An ethnography of development. Fort Worth: Holt, Rinehart and Winston.Google Scholar
- Dietz, T., & E. A. Rosa. (1994). Rethinking the environmental impacts of population, affluence and technology. Human Ecology Review, 1(1). Google Scholar
- EIA (2010). Energy Information Administration, Consumption, Price, and Expenditure Estimates. Retrieved October 31, 2010, from http://www.eia.doe.gov/emeu/states/_seds.html.
- Eskeland, G.S., & Mideksa, T.K. (2010). Electricity demand in a changing climate. Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change doi 10.1007/s11027-010-9246-x.
- Fienup-Riordan, A. (1990). Eskimo essays: Yup’ik lives and how we see them. New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press.Google Scholar
- Hamilton, J. D. (1994). Time series analysis. Princeton: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
- Hamilton, L.C. (2010). Northern places: Circumpolar human-dimensions data framework. Retrieved January 18, 2010 from http://www.carseyinstitute.unh.edu/alaska-indicators-northern.html.
- Hamilton, L. C., & Mitiguy, A. M. (2009). Visualizing population dynamics of Alaska’s Arctic communities. Arctic, 42(4), 393–398.Google Scholar
- Hamilton, L.C., & Mitiguy, A.M. (2010). Population dynamics in Arctic Alaska. Retrieved July 11, 2010 from http://www.carseyinstitute.unh.edu/alaska-indicators.htm.
- Hamilton, L. C., & Seyfrit, C. L. (1993). Town–village contrasts in Alaskan youth aspirations. Arctic, 46(3), 255–263.Google Scholar
- Hamilton, L. C., & Seyfrit, C. L. (1994a). Female flight? Gender balance and outmigration by Native Alaskan villagers. Arctic Medical Research, 53(Supplement 2), 189–193.Google Scholar
- Hamilton, L. C., & Seyfrit, C. L. (1994b). Coming out of the country: Community size and gender balance among Alaskan Natives. Arctic Anthropology, 31(1), 16–25.Google Scholar
- Huskey, L., & Southcott, C. (Eds.). (2010). Migration in the circumpolar North: Issues and context. Edmonton, Alberta: Canadian Circumpolar Institute.Google Scholar
- Jorgensen, J. G. (1990). Oil age Eskimos. Berkeley: University of California Press.Google Scholar
- Kassam, K.-A. S. (2009). Biocultural diversity and indigenous ways of knowing: Human ecology in the Arctic. Calgary: University of Calgary Press.Google Scholar
- Krupnik, I., & Jolly, D. (Eds.). (2002). The earth is faster now: Indigenous observations of Arctic environmental change. Fairbanks, AK: ARCUS.Google Scholar
- Larsen, J. N., Schweitzer, P., & Fondahl, G. (Eds.). (2010). Arctic social indicators. Copenhagen: Nordic Council of Ministers.Google Scholar
- Matsuura, K., & Willmott, C.J. (2009a). Terrestrial temperature: 1900–2008 gridded monthly time series, Version 2.01. Center for Climatic Research, Department of Geography, University of Delaware. Retrieved December 20, 2009, from http://climate.geog.udel.edu/~climate/html_pages/Global2_Ts_2009/README.global_t_ts_2009.html.
- Matsuura, K., & Willmott, C.J. (2009b). Terrestrial precipitation: 1900–2008 gridded monthly time series, Version 2.01. Center for Climatic Research, Department of Geography, University of Delaware. Retrieved December 20, 2009, from http://climate.geog.udel.edu/~climate/html_pages/Global2_Ts_2009/README.global_p_ts_2009.html.
- Montgomery, K. (2007). The demographic transition. Retrieved November 2, 2009, from http://www.uwmc.uwc.edu/geography/Demotrans/demtran.htm.
- Rabe-Hesketh, S., & Skrondal, A. (2008). Multilevel and longitudinal modeling using Stata (2nd ed.). College Station, TX: Stata Press.Google Scholar
- Seyfrit, C. L., Hamilton, L. C., Duncan, C. M., & Grimes, J. (1998). Ethnic identity and aspirations among rural Alaska youth. Sociological Perspectives, 41(2), 343–365.Google Scholar
- SLiCA (2007). Survey of living conditions in the Arctic: What did we learn? Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska Anchorage. Retreived October 20, 2010, from http://220.127.116.11/Publications/researchsumm/SLiCA_07.pdf.
- Young, T. K., & Bjerregaard, P. (Eds.). (2008). Health transitions in Arctic populations. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.Google Scholar