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Climate change and Canada’s north coast: research trends, progress, and future directions

Published on Mar 1, 2018in Environmental Reviews3.958
· DOI :10.1139/er-2017-0027
James D. Ford46
Estimated H-index: 46
(McGill University),
Nicole Couture9
Estimated H-index: 9
(NRCan: Natural Resources Canada)
+ 1 AuthorsDylan G. Clark5
Estimated H-index: 5
(McGill University)
Sources
Abstract
This paper identifies and characterizes current knowledge on climate change impacts, adaptation, and vulnerability for Canada’s northern coastline, outlining key research gaps. Warming temperatures and increased precipitation have been documented across the northern coast, with the rate of sea ice decline ranging from 2.9% to 10.4% per decade. Storm intensity and frequency is increasing, and permafrost is warming across the region. Many of these changes are projected to accelerate in the future, with in excess of 8 °C warming in winter possible under a high-emission scenario by 2081–2100. Vulnerability to these changes differs by region and community, a function of geographic location, nature of climate change impacts, and human factors. Capacity to manage climate change is high in some sectors, such as subsistence harvesting, but is being undermined by long-term societal changes. In other sectors, such as infrastructure and transportation, limitations in climate risk management capacity result in continu...
  • References (131)
  • Citations (10)
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References131
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#1David Fawcett (U of G: University of Guelph)H-Index: 3
#2Tristan Pearce (U of G: University of Guelph)H-Index: 27
Last. Lewis Archer (McGill University)H-Index: 2
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Abstract The past decade has seen a proliferation of community-scale climate change vulnerability assessments globally. Much of this work has employed frameworks informed by scholarship in the vulnerability field, which draws upon interviews with community members to identify and characterize climatic risks and adaptive responses. This scholarship has developed a baseline understanding of vulnerability in specific places and industries at particular times. However, given the dynamic nature of vu...
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#1Jolène LabbéH-Index: 4
#2James D. FordH-Index: 46
Last. Melanie FlynnH-Index: 3
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The Canadian Arctic is uniquely sensitive to climate change impacts, including rapidly warming temperatures, sea ice change, and permafrost degradation. Adaptation—including efforts to manage climate change risks, reduce damages, and take advantage of new opportunities—has been identified as a priority for policy action across government levels. However, our understanding of adaptation in the Canadian North is limited: Is adaptation taking place, to what stresses, and what does it look like? In ...
13 CitationsSource
#1Dylan G. Clark (McGill University)H-Index: 5
#2James D. Ford (McGill University)H-Index: 46
Emergency response capacity in the Canadian North was in the national spotlight in the summer of 2016 as the largest cruise ship to date, the Crystal Serenity , navigated from Alaska to New York via the Northwest Passage. The journey raised concerns about Canada’s capacity to respond to any large-
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#1K PalkoH-Index: 1
#2Ds LemmenH-Index: 1
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#1Michael FritzH-Index: 14
#2Jorien E. VonkH-Index: 26
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A holistic and transdisciplinary approach is urgently required to investigate the physical and socio-economic impacts of collapsing coastlines in the Arctic nearshore zone.
31 CitationsSource
#1Lewis Archer (McGill University)H-Index: 2
#2James D. Ford (McGill University)H-Index: 46
Last. Mishak AllurutH-Index: 3
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The Arctic is a global hotspot of climate change, which is impacting the livelihoods of remote Inuit communities. We conduct a longitudinal assessment of climate change vulnerability drawing upon fieldwork conducted in 2004 and 2015 in Ikpiarjuk (Arctic Bay), Nunavut, and focusing on risks associated with subsistence harvesting activities. Specifically, we employ the same conceptual and methodological approach to identify and characterize who is vulnerable, to what stresses, and why, assessing h...
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#1Megan SheremataH-Index: 1
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A literature review is conducted of geospatial technologies in community-based research on ice and mobility among Indigenous people of the circumpolar north. Numerous studies explore the use of traditional knowledge in the Arctic on sea ice, but limited evidence of community-based research in sub-Arctic communities and in freshwater ice systems is found. Geographical Information Systems (GIS) and remote sensing tools have been applied in a variety of ways in support of community adaptations. The...
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Abstract Coastal fishery systems in the Arctic are undergoing rapid change. This paper examines the ways in which Inuit fishers experience and respond to such change, using a case study from Pangnirtung, Canada. The work is based on over two years of fieldwork, during which semi-structured interviews (n = 62), focus group discussions (n = 6, 31 participants) and key informant interviews (n = 25) were conducted. The changes that most Inuit fishers experience are: changes in sea-ice conditions, In...
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#1Olivier W. TsuiH-Index: 1
#2M. ChiangH-Index: 1
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AbstractChanges in climate, warming temperatures and increased precipitation are impacting surface water resources in the Northwest Territories, Canada. Satellite remote sensing is an important too...
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#1James D. Ford (University of Leeds)H-Index: 46
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Climate change vulnerability research methods are often divergent, drawing from siloed biophysical risk approaches or social-contextual frameworks, lacking methods for integrative approaches. This substantial gap has been noted by scientists, policymakers and communities, inhibiting decision-makers’ capacity to implement adaptation policies responsive to both physical risks and social sensitivities. Aiming to contribute to the growing literature on integrated vulnerability approaches, we concept...
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#1Alexandre Normandeau (Geological Survey of Canada)H-Index: 9
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Glacier and ice sheet mass loss as a result of climate change is driving important coastal changes in Arctic fjords. Yet, limited information exists for Arctic coasts regarding the influence of glacial erosion and ice mass loss on the occurrence and character of turbidity currents in fjords, which themselves affect delta dynamics. Here, we show how glacial erosion and the production of meltwaters and sediments associated with the melting of retreating glaciers control the generation of turbidity...
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Environments are shifting rapidly in the Circumpolar Arctic and Subarctic regions as a result of climate change and other external stressors, and this has a substantial impact on the health of northern populations. Thus, there is a need for integrated surveillance systems designed to monitor the impacts of climate change on human health outcomes as part of broader adaptation strategies in these regions. This review aimed to identify, describe, and synthesize literature on integrated surveillance...
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#1Darya Anderson (McGill University)
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The traditional subsistence activities of Indigenous communities in Canada’s subarctic are being affected by the impacts of climate change, compounding the effects of social, economic and political changes. Most research has focused on hunting and fishing activities, overlooking berry picking as an important socio-cultural activity and contributor to the diversity of food systems. We examined the vulnerability of cloudberry (referred to as ‘bakeapple’ consistent with local terminology) picking t...
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