Global Change Research Group
The emphasis of the research group is on the natural sciences, but understanding the relationship between human communities and rapid environmental change is also central to its activities. Of special interest are the adaptive responses and resilience of northern societies to recent changes and therefore the group has strong links to the Sustainable Development Research Group.
What is Global Change?
Global change presents great challenges to circumpolar countries. It comprises elements of indirect climate-driven and more direct anthropogenic or human-induced change, as well as feedbacks among these. Threats to the sustainability of arctic social and ecological systems include rapid changes in:
- Socio-economic/legal systems
Glaciological climate change research addresses polar and alpine snow and glacier ice cover over both shorter and longer time scales. Other topics include for instance responses of tundra flora and fauna, permafrost and ecosystem carbon budgets to climate change, changes in northern environment due to oil and mineral extraction, adaptation of nature and arctic communities on changes, and effects of resource use on biodiversity. In general, changes in arctic environment and society, the interactions within and among social-ecological systems, are studied within the framework of the subject matter. Direct involvement of local and indigenous peoples and the valuing of ’traditional’ or practitioners’ knowledge are critical within certain projects.