Theme 5: Impact, adaptation and outreach

Recent climate change has led to degradation of permafrost in many areas, with consequences for e.g. hydrology, vegetation patterns and trace gas exchanges. It is likely that current changes in permafrost will continue, not only in lowlands but also in mountain regions. Thawing of mountain permafrost may lead to increased mass movements in previously frozen areas.

We will aim to project the future evolution of permafrost in the Torneträsk area for the coming century, by using the GIPL 2.0 permafrost model, which will be forced by fields resulting from the chain of downscaling in theme 4. GIPL 2.0 will be validated with data from monitoring programs and IPY projects.

The Abisko area and regions nearby will be investigated

Changes in climate and their impacts on the physical environment and ecological systems have major implications for the residents, economic sectors and infrastructure in the Arctic.

Results from the downscaling chain will be statistically analyzed especially for the Abisko area. The regional changes in the Torneträsk area and the effects of these changes on other regions nearby and vice versa are investigated. The results will be used for the stakeholder interaction.

We will furthermore engage in the outreach process in order to develop a rational for visualization and learning that coheres with the pedagogical standards set by the stakeholder community. Since the global change scenario varies in space and time, a geographic information system will provide the basic platform for this work.

Tourism and reindeer herding

One focus of the impact studies will be on the sectors of tourism and reindeer herding. Our approach is to analyse previous changes and to relate such changes to expected land surface change as resulting from our downscaling chain in task 4.

In a second step, field surveys are planned among the representatives of the tourism branch and reindeer herders within the Torneträsk area and its surroundings. Thereby, potential use of climate scenarios for the different sectors will be explored and the risks and chances of a changing climate for these sectors will be analyzed.

The wider impact and adaptation community will be integrated in this work via existing projects and networks such as the FORMAS project “Climate change, impacts and adaptation in the sub Arctic: a case study of the northern Swedish mountains”. Common workshops are envisaged.