Systems analysis for a new Arctic

The Arctic region has long been seen as one of the Earth s most remote frontiers. However, now the Arctic is changing fast and is important in global governance, geopolitics, and the global economy. Temperatures have warmed faster than the rest of the planet; sea ice is dramatically declined in summers; exploitation of oil and gas, new (sea) trade routes, tourism and other economic activities are expanding. At the same time, the region, claimed by eight states and inhabited by dozens of groups of Indigenous peoples, has the potential for geopolitical stability and constructive cooperation -- a precondition for largely international and multidisciplinary Arctic research.


A scientific report released today by IIASA provides a new systemic view of the environmental, social, economic, and political picture of today s Arctic. This new report is a holistic analysis of current policies, strategies, and declarations of Arctic and non-Arctic states with interests in the region, as well as documents of Indigenous peoples organizations.

The report was produced as part of the Arctic Futures Initiative (AFI) at IIASA, which was completed in summer 2019. The IIASA researchers analyzed 56 key policy documents to identify current trends in Arctic governance and geopolitics. It considers how different Arctic actors define and address issues around the following: the human dimension, governance, international cooperation, environmental protection, pollution, climate change, security, safety, economy, tourism, infrastructure, and science & education.

"This report delivers the first systematic and holistic analysis and synthesis of all the existing policies and strategies of the Arctic states and other relevant stakeholders, using quantitative and qualitative methods," says Lassi Heininen, leader of the AFI project at IIASA and research director at the Institute for Atmospheric and Earth System Research (INAR) at the University of Helsinki. "As the Arctic is facing severe challenges, and the global Arctic has worldwide implications which affect the rest of the globe, it is important to include existing policies and strategies of non-Arctic states and Indigenous peoples organizations to the analysis, and based on that recognize new trends."

The AFI team members and authors of the report say that it is striking that the Arctic states clearly identify the economy and economic development, as well as either climate change or environmental protection, as priorities. Among the key themes the report identifies governance, international cooperation, and the human dimension. Including new and emerging trends of Arctic governance and geopolitics the report will be useful for policymakers and researchers for further discussion in the context of different images and perceptions and the dominant narratives of the Arctic.

New and emerging overall trends identified in the report include:

Materials provided by . Note: Content may be edited for style and length.

International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis. "Systems analysis for a new Arctic." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 17 February 2020. .

International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis. "Systems analysis for a new Arctic." ScienceDaily. (accessed February 17, 2020).
News Topics :
The Arctic region is heating up faster than any other place on Earth, and as more and more sea ice is lost every year, we are already feeling the impacts....
IIASA researchers have contributed to a major new report in The Lancet medical journal looking at the effects of climate change on human health, and the implications for society. advertisement...
IIASA and the Integrated Assessment Modeling Consortium IAMC have made the scenarios underlying last week s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change IPCC 1.5°C Special Report publicly available, in an interactive...
According to a new study published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 35 of black carbon in the Russian Arctic originates from residential heating sources, 38...
Population aging projections across the US show a divide between cities and rural areas, which could lead to pockets of vulnerability to climate change. advertisement Rural parts of the US...