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Resilience and Change in Arctic Terrestrial Ecosystems: A Key Role in the Arctic System Terry Chapin University of Alaska Fairbanks
Chapin and Whiteman 1998
Rapid Climatic Change Mark Serreze, John Walsh
1949 Chandler River, 50 miles S. of Umiat: Sturm, Racine and Tape: Fifty Years of Change in Arctic Alaskan Shrub Abundance Shrub density has increased Matthew Sturm
Indigenous observations suggests that shrub expansion is widespread in the North American Arctic
Gunderson and Holling 2002 No resilience Complete resilience Complete instability The real world
Is the Arctic a fragile system? Somewhat!
What are the triggers for major changes? What are the limits to resilience?
Chapin and Whiteman 1998
Thawing of Permafrost
Hinzman Hydrology is changing
Discharge is increasing in major Euroasian rivers these 6 rivers account for half of river flux to the Arctic Ocean Peterson et al.
1949 Chandler River, 50 miles S. of Umiat: Sturm, Racine and Tape: Fifty Years of Change in Arctic Alaskan Shrub Abundance Vegetation is changing Matthew Sturm
Vegetation change warms the local climate
Model simulations suggest warmer summers Following vegetation change Chapin, Lynch et al.
Arctic Summer Warming Trends
Area burned in W. North America has doubled in last 20 years Kasischki
Species effects on climate in boreal forest Baldocchi et al. 2000
The Earth System is Changing What can we do?
Identify problems and opportunities Mitigate Adapt
Regional problems and opportunities (examples) Problems –Permafrost thaw –Increased fire –Changing economy –Changing institutions –Globally diverse problems Opportunities –Identify critical areas –Mitigate regional warming? –New options available –Fresh look for solutions –More options for solutions
University of Alaska’s Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship Program (IGERT) Terry Chapin and Gary Kofinas Regional Resilience and Adaptation
Focal issue of program How can we build a sustainable future, if the global environment is directionally changing ecologically, economically, politically, and culturally?
Our underlying philosophy Solutions to regional problems must be –Ecologically, economically, socially, and culturally sustainable –Must treat region as a system with an integrated set of variables
2002’s entering group 15 Graduate Students 8 Biology 4 Anthropology 1 Resource Mngt. 2 Interdisciplinary 50% AK residents 30% minority students
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