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Review of quantitative methods to assess impacts of changing climate and socioeconomic conditions on Arctic transportation systems

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Rapid climate and socioeconomic changes are transforming Arctic human–earth systems. An integral part of these systems is mobility, which encompasses the transport of humans and goods into, out of, and between Arctic regions. Impacts of climate and socioeconomic drivers on Arctic mobility are heterogenous. Methodologies are needed to quantify these impacts in measures that can be linked with broader socioeconomic systems. This article reviews existing methods and organizes them into a conceptual framework to understand trends and gaps in the literature. We found methods quantifying impacts of a range of climate drivers on most transportation modes present in the Arctic, but few methods focused on socioeconomic drivers. In addition, underrepresented were methods explicitly considering adaptive capacity of transportation systems. We provide insight into the data and relationships relevant to understanding impacts of Arctic change on transportation systems, laying a foundation for future work that investigates how these impacts fit into broader human–arth systems.

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This research was funded as part of the Interdisciplinary Research for Arctic Coastal Environments (InteRFACE) project through the Department of Energy, Office of Science, Biological and Environmental Research Earth and Environment Systems Sciences Division MultiSector Dynamics program. Awarded under contract grant # 89233218CNA000001 to Triad National Security, LLC (“Triad”).

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Waite, T., Evans, M., Kholod, N. et al. Review of quantitative methods to assess impacts of changing climate and socioeconomic conditions on Arctic transportation systems. Ambio 52, 1155–1169 (2023).

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