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5 Knowledge to Action I history of IPY/IGY and a critical factor in shaping the PY 2007-2008 occurred during a period of change IPY agenda toward more “applied” (knowledge-to- in the U.S. research enterprise, as evidenced by an action) outcomes. Another reason for the focus on polar increase in and funding for two-way connections communities was the extent of recent environmental between knowledge and action—knowledge informing change in the polar regions—they are experiencing action, and action influencing the pursuit of knowledge. climate forcing, climate effects, and climate change Thus scientists have been integrated as advisors in response more significantly than elsewhere. These policymaking processes, and policymakers, local agen- changes, many of which exceed the range of historical cies and communities, and other stakeholders have measurements, have underscored the very present reality been included in the initial design of problem-oriented of climate change and driven home the need for adapta- research. tion planning and mitigation of environmental impacts. One factor fostering connections between knowl- In recognition of the rapid changes in the Arctic edge and action was the 2002 National Science Foun- environment, residents, state and federal land manag- dation (NSF) requirement that all proposals address the ers, and industry representatives have called on the “ broader impacts criterion” (Box 5.1). scientific community to help inform decisions about In keeping with this new imperative, the IPY adapting to a rapidly changing environment.1 Infra- V ision Report (NRC, 2004) called for “improv[ing] structure planners in coastal communities, for example, predictions” and improving understanding of social need reliable projections of polar influences such as the processes, in particular those “that shape the resilience impacts of glacier and ice sheet mass loss on sea level and sustainability of circumpolar human societies.” In rise and of the warming Arctic on continental winter addition, the IPY Joint Committee ( JC) and Inter- weather patterns. national Programme Office (IPO) required that all The Arctic receives greater attention because of JC-endorsed international projects describe plans “for the significance of its changes for the people who live addressing the education, outreach, and communica- and work in the region, and the pace of change in tion issues outlined in the Framework document” most of Antarctica differs in important respects from (Rapley and Bell, 2004). As noted in that Framework that in the Arctic. But in both cases endeavors that d ocument, “IPY 2007-2008 aims to inform both entail multiple-decade planning must factor in the governmental and scientific decision-makers, includ- challenges of a changing baseline, and changes in both ing funding and resource managers, on the roles and places can have important impacts on the entire globe. importance of polar regions.” The inclusion of social and human sciences in the IPY program and its increased focus on polar residents, 1 See, for example, http://ine.uaf.edu/accap/research/cross_region_ including indigenous peoples, was a first in the 125-year dialogue.htm; ACCAP (2010); and Lovecraft and Eicken (2011). 89
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90 LESSONS AND LEGACIES OF INTERNATIONAL POLAR YEAR 2007-2008 mitigation policy. The interest in connecting knowl- BOX 5.1 edge with action emerged as a logical extension of NSF Broader Impacts Criterion research projects or in response to information needs associated with expanding human activities, particu- In every proposal seeking research funding from NSF, the larly in the Arctic. principal investigator must spell out the research questions, The applications and observations described below intended methods, and proposed budget for the project. Start- are presented as examples and are not a comprehensive ing in 2002, researchers were challenged to think more broadly review of the portfolio of IPY knowledge-to-action about the societal impacts of their proposed activity, guided by activities. the following questions: • How well does the activity advance discovery and un- KNOWLEDGE-TO-ACTION EXAMPLES derstanding while promoting teaching, training, and learning? • How well does the proposed activity broaden the par- IPY gave impetus for increased interaction and ticipation of underrepresented groups (e.g., based on gender, discussions between scientists and practitioners, includ- ethnicity, disability, geography)? ing community planning groups, as the practitioners • To what extent will it enhance the infrastructure for research and education, such as facilities, instrumentation, net- sought relevant, science-based information as a basis works, and partnerships? for their planning. Because of the larger environmental • Will the results be disseminated broadly to enhance changes and greater populations in the North, most of scientific and technological understanding? the applications noted below are from the Arctic region. • What may be the benefits of the proposed activity to society? Predictions, Projections, Forecasts, and Scenarios SOURCE: NSF, 2007. IPY had a strong focus on observations and mod- eling to improve predictive capability, in part due to Recent and ongoing studies of the stability of the West the need to understand and project the forcing and Antarctic ice sheet and grounding line (e.g., Jenkins et implications of cryospheric changes. The foundation al., 2010; Velicogna, 2009)—otherwise highlighted in for this focus was laid years earlier under the scientific- Chapter 3—show that large changes to global sea level community-inspired “Study of Environmental Arctic rise are possible in response to global warming. Infor- Change” (SEARCH).2 SEARCH eventually became mation about polar changes is thus relevant to decisions in interagency initiative with an international legacy that affect the lives of millions of nonpolar residents. through the International Study of Arctic Change IPY addressed the growing concerns about polar (ISAC), which was established in 2003. The SEARCH changes by organizing public and educational forums, tripartite charge “Observing Change, Understanding and IPY outreach efforts led policymakers to turn Change, and Responding to Change” is explicit about to polar scientists to help inform decisions. In turn, informing action. through their experience preparing presentations for The record sea ice minimum in 2007, the first year and answering questions from general audiences, many of IPY, stimulated concerted efforts to understand its polar scientists learned about the concerns of the public, cause, project plausible future trajectories, and consider educators, and stakeholders, and in some cases adapted systemwide implications. Cooperative oceanographic their research based on this new knowledge. The result cruises and remote sensing imagery provided by many was an increase during IPY in basic research that con- nations in concert with sophisticated modeling stud- sidered possible applications and stakeholder guidance ies provided a comprehensive picture of its shrinking (e.g., Stokes, 1997). extent and thickness. The committee notes that “action” was not defined With the rate of change in the Arctic outpacing as a major goal by the IPY Planning Group (2003- traditional modes of scientific communication, the 2004), the JC, or the National Research Council spe- cifically. For example, the 2004 NRC Vision Report does not refer to the creation of adaptation plans or 2 www.arcus.org/search/sciencecoordination/development.php.
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91 KNOWLEDGE TO ACTION international sea ice research community has also made IPY-related predictive modeling has and will con- progress in exploring innovative approaches of synthe- tinue to play a role in helping companies, individuals, sizing observations of the ice cover and model simula- and governments assess various risks associated with tions to track and project the evolution of the ice cover changing ice conditions, sea level rise, permafrost on the seasonal scale. Advances were made in the area degradation, and other effects of polar warming. Such of seasonal predictions of sea ice conditions, particularly assessments help inform a wide variety of decisions through the use of ensemble approaches with coupled involving siting and insurance of property and infra- ice-ocean models (e.g., Zhang et al., 2008). The rec- structure, community planning and zoning, construc- ognized importance of improved seasonal predictions tion of ice roads, emergency preparedness and disaster led to development of the Sea Ice Outlook3 in 2008 by response, and long-term planning for moving military, the SEARCH community. It has brought together a industrial, and public infrastructure (and in some cases diverse international group of leaders in the field of sea whole villages) to higher ground. See Box 5.3. Overall, ice modeling and forecasting to share and discuss yearly the ability of ecosystems and human communities to predictions of the summer sea ice minimum beginning adapt to the rapid changes under way at both poles in early summer each year. The Sea Ice Outlook is related to global warming depends in large measure on widely viewed as one of IPY’s key legacies (Calder et how “healthy” those human and natural communities al., 2011; Box 5.2). are at the outset. In natural ecosystems, resilience and Just as sea ice loss resulted in mobilizations of adaptive capacity are related to species and trophic the sea ice science community, melting glaciers also diversity. For human communities, resilience appears mobilized the glacier science community to understand strongly related to the strength of human social net- processes and make better projections of future sea level works and institutions. rise. One of the most significant outcomes of IPY ice sheet research is the multisensory documentation of Information for Subsistence a net loss of ice from both the Greenland ice sheet Communities in the Arctic and Antarctica with a corresponding increase in sea In part, groundwork for two-way communication level. Investigators have tracked the melt areas on the was laid through the process of preparing the Arctic Greenland ice sheet through a distinct melt signature Climate Impact Assessment (ACIA, 2005). Led by in the passive microwave satellite data (SMMR and the United States, this report detailed the myriad and SSM/I), showing a significant increase in the melt of wide-ranging impacts of climate change and gave the ice sheet over the last 29 years with 2007 having governments of many nations justification to initiate the highest melt extent on record. This increase in melt programs to detect and document a changing climate. is important directly to shrinkage of the Greenland ice The voices of polar residents recorded prior to and dur- sheet and sea level rise but also contributes indirectly ing IPY expressed the message of urgency and the call by providing more melt water to lubricate the interface for action. Several IPY studies undertaken in human between the ice and bedrock on which it rests, causing health, community vulnerability, food security, and the ice to flow faster toward the sea. The increase in gla- local observations of change, were intrinsically aimed cial melt has clear and very significant implications for at practical applications to be shared with polar com- a variety of social, economic, and ecological manage- munities, local agencies, and grassroots organizations. ment considerations. Sea level rise projections for this IPY promoted the practice of returning usable data century are now 0.62 to 1.8 m (NRC, 2010a). This is to communities to encourage and solidify the involve- a significant increase over the IPCC (2007b) estimates ment of local people in research, long-term environ- of 0.18 to 0.59 m, which did not include dynamic mental monitoring, and heritage preservation. Specific aspect of glaciers. Extensive civil actions are required examples include: to prepare for this reshaping of the world’s coastlines. • New data sets were created by indigenous IPY participants and managed by a special IPY project, ELOKA (Exchange of Local Knowledge in the Arctic); www.arcus.org/search/seaiceoutlook/index.php. 3
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92 LESSONS AND LEGACIES OF INTERNATIONAL POLAR YEAR 2007-2008 BOX 5.2 The Sea Ice Outlook The Sea Ice Outlook— begun during IPY—is an international ef- to plan, prioritize, and map out activities and requisite infrastructure in fort to provide annual Arctic sea ice forecasts. This effort has continued newly opened waters. The United States and other governments rely on beyond the period of IPY and has promoted advances in sea ice predic- sea ice predictions (Figure) to evaluate future needs for services (e.g., tion, integration, and coordination of ground-based observations, as well port facilities, search and rescue capability, oil spill response facilities), as provided a more complete picture of the predictability of the Arctic ice regulation (e.g., discharge controls, requirements for ice-capable ships, cover on different scales. The outlook has been able to draw in different limits on fishing), and information (e.g., new mapping and charting, com- stakeholder communities, including Arctic residents, federal agencies, munications capability, research priorities, etc.). According to a survey of nongovernmental organizations, and industry. It has thus fostered a Sea Ice Outlook users.a it provides a bigger picture for looking at the data, community of practice that can take the next steps in operationalizing planning for shoreline changes, projecting impacts on marine mammals, different ice prediction approaches. Sea ice predictions are necessary and understanding where the uncertainties lie in the forecasts. Predictions of the annual minimum arctic sea ice areal extent, compiled from numerous sources, are provided monthly (June through October) as a forum to facilitate communication among sea ice researchers and provide information to stakeholders, including Arctic residents, federal agencies, nongovernmental organizations, and industry. SOURCE: Study of Environmental Arctic Change/Arctic Research Consortium of the United States. a www.arcus.org/search/seaiceoutlook/survey.
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93 KNOWLEDGE TO ACTION permafrost, and other changes faced by subsistence BOX 5.3 communities around the Arctic. For example, a valu- Climate Change Adaptation able product of the IPY period was an international assessment of Arctic coastal erosion (IASC, 2011). Climate change is already having measureable effects on This collaborative research advanced the understanding the polar regions. Whether beneficial or detrimental, those ef- of the processes responsible for the recent increase in fects will require ecosystems and human communities to adapt erosion rates throughout the circumpolar Arctic, but to the changes. Global climate models are advancing our ability more importantly, it provided scientific insight needed to understand what changes are coming and beginning to help to evaluate areas of stability and areas of vulnerability. inform decision about how to adapt to potential impacts. Important examples are the models included in the Intergovernmental Panel Throughout the Arctic, many small villages and towns on Climate Change (IPCC) assessment process. IPY came at an are located adjacent to the coast or on rivers. With important time when the IPCC models were being developed in accelerated permafrost thawing, loss of sea ice armor, preparation for the Fifth Assessment Report (AR5). IPY produced and increase in summer storms, many coastal commu- a wealth of information that will be featured prominently in several nities now face imminent threat of erosion and pos- chapters of AR5 (in preparation), in particular in a chapter on sible destruction. In Alaska, the villages of Shishmaref, “Polar Regions” in the volume on Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulner- ability (Working Group II). Other modeling work has shown the Kivalina, and Newtok have already begun relocation influence of climate forcings at various latitudes, emphasizing that plans. Since 2003, federal, state, and village officials forcings at the midlatitudes in the Northern Hemisphere strongly have identified 31 villages that face imminent threats influence Arctic temperatures (Shindell et al., 2010). from flooding and erosion. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has identified over 160 additional rural com- munities threatened by erosion (GAO, 2009). • A new Web-based monitoring and data-sharing The Arctic Human Health Initiative (AHHI) was network in the Bering Strait region, Sea Ice for Walrus the U.S.-led IPY coordinating project introduced via Outlook SIWO4 (Eicken et al., 2011), was developed the Arctic Council with the overall goal to increase by ice scientists in partnership with the Eskimo Wal- awareness and visibility of human health concerns rus Commission and several local village monitors; of Arctic peoples, foster human health research, and SIWO uses high-resolution satellite images, analysis of promote health strategies to improve health and well- weather and ice patterns, and observations from local being of Arctic residents. It was a broad circumpolar scientists and indigenous experts to provide forecasts effort with multinational participation that included for the spring ice breakup and the walrus migration almost 30 individual projects in several thematic fields: in the northern Bering Sea region in a format that is health network expansion, infectious disease research, helpful to local users, as well as regional 10-day weather e nvironmental health, and behavioral and mental forecasts; health (Parkinson, 2010). Among many U.S. contribu- • A long-term study of ice trails built by indig- tions, the Center for Alaska Native Health Research enous whalers across spring shore-fast ice off Barrow (CANHR) at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks used and other Alaskan communities shared digital maps of the IPY momentum to build a collaborative research trails with the community (SIZONeT project); and presence in Alaska Native communities, focusing on • Various efforts to share computer and Web- prevention and reduction of health disparities—par- based maps and satellite imagery of subsistence sea ice ticularly in the areas of behavioral, dietary, and genetic use, hunters’ and herders’ traveling, local impact of oil risks—and protective factors related to obesity, diabe- and gas development, marine mammal distribution, tes, and cardiovascular disease risk in Alaska Natives. and other information were part of IPY. All CANHR studies, particularly those related to substance abuse and suicide prevention, the develop- Risk assessments done during IPY have also played ment of novel dietary biomarkers, contaminants, and an important role in predicting coastal erosion, loss of the safety of subsistence foods, employed community- based participatory research approaches. Also, dur- ing IPY, opportunities were created for cross-border 4 http://www.arcus.org/search/siwo.
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94 LESSONS AND LEGACIES OF INTERNATIONAL POLAR YEAR 2007-2008 Information for Shipping partnerships to explore needs related to service delivery. Together, the NSF and Alaska Federal Health Care Decline of sea ice during the summer months will Access Network (AFHCAN) facilitated cooperation in create increased access to large and small ships from telemedicine technology expertise between Alaska and subarctic as well as Arctic nations; for example, the the Sakha Republic and the Khanty-Mansiysk region Arctic Ocean will become the shortest shipping route in Russia. The goal of this partnership was to promote between Hong Kong and New York. The Arctic marine a mutually beneficial collaboration in telemedicine, and terrestrial environments are fragile, and oil spills or telehealth, mobile medicine, and distance learning in other environmental disruptions will be more difficult remote areas of Alaska and the Russian north. and take longer to remediate than those in the lower The IPY project entitled Arctic Change: An Inter- latitudes. Sea ice loss projections related to IPY inform disciplinary Dialog Between the Academy, Northern many different decisions regarding shipping routes, Peoples and Policy Makers led to several diverse port siting, emergency response (see below), ship con- workshops to capture talking points important for struction, and others. informing policymakers on issues of Arctic security and The Arctic Marine Shipping Assessment (Arctic climate change, Arctic health, Arctic Ocean shipping, Council, 2009), prepared during IPY, concluded that and human security in a changing Arctic. The Arctic the most significant threat from ships to the Arctic Institute for Applied Circumpolar Policy (IACP 5) was marine environment is the release of oil through acci- founded as an outgrowth of this framework. IACP is dental or illegal discharge. That potential problem is a joint effort of Dartmouth College, the University of compounded by the lack in the Arctic of emergency Alaska, and the University of the Arctic and brings response capability for saving lives and mitigating together representatives of governments, the academy, pollution. This assessment spurred an agreement to nongovernmental groups, and indigenous peoples to negotiate a new mandatory Polar Shipping Code. discuss Arctic and polar issues, identify and prioritize In the Antarctic, growing awareness of polar eco- the policy-related research requirements, and help systems and biodiversity, along with burgeoning com- develop the agendas for governments to address press- mercial activities in the region, sparked new interest in ing policy issues facing the northern and polar regions. tighter controls on shipping and fishing vessel opera- The inclusion of social and human-focused research tions and upgrading emergency response capability in in the IPY program is broadly viewed as one of its key the region. Tourist and fishing vessels gravitate toward features as well as major achievements. It transformed areas of high diversity or productivity, and their activi- into a massive flow of new knowledge that produced ties can be inconsistent with maintaining both. This tangible benefits to many stakeholders beyond partici- was highlighted when the MV Explorer was sunk by pating scientists. It included research efforts supported ice in November 2007 (Figure 5.1). Since that time, the by a broad spectrum of governmental agencies, such as International Maritime Organization has extended the NSF, the National Park Service (NPS), National Oce- Polar Shipping Code to waters at both poles. anic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Information for Emergency Preparedness and the Smithsonian Institution, as well as the Uni- versity of Alaska, North Pacific Research Board, and As shipping, energy development, tourism, and other public and private players. The overall U.S. IPY other human activities expand throughout the Arctic, input in social and human fields was unprecedented in awareness of the need for effective emergency planning its scope and funding (more than $20M in the United has grown. For example, increasing interest in the polar States alone over 3 years) and resulted in the largest and regions as tourist destinations reveals the risks inher- the most diverse effort of its kind. ent in traveling in remote and sometimes dangerous locations. For example, when the tourist ship Explorer capsized near the Antarctic Peninsula in 2007 (Fig- ure 5.1, top), passengers had to rely on other nearby 5 http://iacp.dartmouth.edu/.
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95 KNOWLEDGE TO ACTION FIGURE 5.1 Top: The tourist ship Explorer capsized near the Antarctic Peninsula in November 2007. SOURCE: Fuerza Aerea de Chile via European Pressphoto Agency; Bottom: The Antarctic tourist ship Clelia II without power and making slow headway north of the South Shetland Islands in rough seas during December 2010. SOURCE: Copyright Stewart/McIntosh
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96 LESSONS AND LEGACIES OF INTERNATIONAL POLAR YEAR 2007-2008 cruise ships. More recently, the tourist ship Clelia II lost BOX 5.4 power and communications during particularly rough Ocean Acidification seas in the Drake Passage (Figure 5.1, bottom). Projec- tions of sea ice changes during IPY have propelled and The increase in seawater acidity (decrease in pH) due to informed emergency preparedness and response mech- the uptake of anthropogenic carbon dioxide has been termed anismsnd will continue to do so. Effective emergency “ocean acidification.” Given the scenarios for pH changes in the preparedness and response will have to draw on data Arctic Ocean and adjacent Arctic shelves seas, there will likely from both research and operational observing systems be an increasing impact by ocean acidification, with potentially developed during IPY, with high demands placed on negative implications for shelled benthic organisms as well as those animals that rely on the shelf seafloor ecosystem with data availability and spatiotemporal resolution during consequent impacts to the fishing industry such as crab fishing. an emergency. Hence, such information needs may turn (Also see section in Chapter 2 on “Marine Carbon Cycling and into a powerful driver outside of the research commu- Ocean Acidification”.) nity towards collaborative, internationally coordinated activities governed by open data/access practices as promoted during IPY. the United States’ newly adopted U.S. National Oceans As part of the Arctic Marine Shipping Assessment, Policy. Since the July 2010 Executive Order establishing the Coast Guard, the U.S. Arctic Research Commis- the Policy, the Administration has moved forward with a sion, and the Coastal Response Research Center (a number of initiatives to advance ecosystem-based man- partnership between the University of New Hampshire agement in the Arctic Ocean. In May 2010 the foreign and NOAA) organized a workshop of international ministers of the eight Arctic Council states agreed to experts to anticipate responses to environmental and establish an expert working group on ecosystem-based s afety incidents in the Arctic (Coastal Response management. Ecosystem and species mapping and Research Center, 2009). The workshop identified predictive modeling is helping to identify ecologically gaps in current response capabilities, assessed future important and vulnerable areas, and will help inform response needs, and recommended improvements in new processes initiated within the United States and at the ability of Arctic nations and indigenous communi- the Arctic Council to promote ecosystem-based marine ties to prepare for and respond to marine incidents. resource management. In response to the growing recognition of the need After extensive debate and analysis of the conse- for more effective disaster planning, discussions were quences of the loss of sea ice on polar bear habitat, the initiated during IPY that led to an agreement on search U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service determined that a viable and rescue coordination that was signed in May 2011 threat exists and will continue to threaten the polar bear by the foreign ministers of the eight Arctic states that species. A ruling was published in the Federal Register constitute the Arctic Council. (U.S. Department of the Interior, 2008) on May 15, 2008, listing the polar bear as a threatened species Information for Ecosystem Management under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The ruling found that changes in the abundance, distribution, or IPY identified new marine and terrestrial species, existence of sea ice will have effects on the number and habitats, and ranges, which greatly expanded under- behavior of these animals and their prey. standing and awareness of polar biodiversity. Better understanding of polar ecosystem dynamics has in turn spurred a number of new initiatives aimed at managing Information for Fisheries human activities in the oceans, with an eye toward pro- Documentation of the northward movement of tecting biodiversity and maintaining ecosystem functions commercial fish populations that occurred during IPY as these ecosystems undergo profound change due to has opened the possibility of new commercial fisher- global warming, including ocean acidification (Box 5.4). ies that will need management (at present, there is For example, the Arctic and ecosystem-based manage- no international management mechanism in place to ment are among nine strategic priorities identified under
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97 KNOWLEDGE TO ACTION manage fisheries in most of the Arctic Ocean). This 22 percent of the undiscovered, technically recoverable possibility led the United States to proactively pro- resources in the world. hibit most commercial fishing in its waters north of Planning for Arctic offshore oil and gas develop- the Bering Strait until better scientific information is ment requires projections of sea ice as well as other available on the ecology of the region and the impacts marine ecosystem information, from subsea permafrost of new commercial fishing on both subsistence users status and trends to the projected distribution of marine and the marine environment. As one online question- wildlife in and around drilling sites. Information gener- naire respondent stated as part of the input to this ated during and after IPY will play an essential role in report, “gathered biological data are providing the first permitting and other decisions (National Commission pan-Arctic baseline to assess changes in Arctic marine on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore biodiversity.” Informal international discussions are also Drilling, 2011). under way regarding the establishment of some mecha- nism to manage commercial fisheries in the area of the Information for Onshore Development Arctic Ocean where such mechanisms are lacking. In the Antarctic, IPY-related scientific data are Arctic and subarctic wildfire frequency and severity being generated for use in policy-relevant conservation have increased markedly in the past decade (Kasischke and management efforts related to fisheries and tourism. et al., 2011) with important impacts to natural eco- The Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources systems and the social network dependent upon them (CCAMLR) is an organization that was established in (Chapin and Lovecraft, 2011). Insurance companies are 1982 as part of the Antarctic Treaty system. CCAMLR revisiting their procedures for coverage of structures in manages and sets fishing limits in the Southern Ocean, fire-prone areas, including prescribing techniques of identifies needed research, and is involved in monitor- fire protection to home owners. State, federal, and local ing environmental impact. The Southern Ocean Global land managers need to strategically position equipment Ocean Ecosystems Dynamics Program (SO GLOBEC; and manpower and to consider long-term effects of fire described in Chapter 4), was an international multidis- and the changing trajectories of ecosystem recovery ciplinary effort during IPY, designed to examine the (Payne, 2010). growth, reproduction, recruitment, and overwintering Construction and new development in a period of survival of Antarctic krill (Euphausia superba). The ris- warming present unprecedented challenges for design ing recognition of krill as a key element of Antarctic engineers. In the past, design protocols were based ecosystem function during IPY led CCAMLR to spa- upon compilations of measurements of actual field tially allocate the fishery to prevent the catch from being conditions (for example, Hartman and Johnson, 1978). concentrated in a small area, and to mandate scientific However, documentation of circumpolar warming has observers on at least half the ships harvesting krill. forced engineers to realize that future environmental conditions will fall outside the domain of historical observations; therefore it is necessary to include pro- Information for Offshore Oil and jections of warming and potential thawing in design of Gas Development roads, buildings, and other infrastructure (McGregor, In 2008, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) 2010). completed the Circum-Arctic Resource Appraisal, an Projects such as the IPY Thermal State of Per- assessment of undiscovered conventional oil and gas mafrost (Romanovsky et al., 2008) demonstrated to resources in all areas north of the Arctic Circle (Fig- the engineering community that warming is nearly ure 5.2). The USGS estimated that the Arctic accounts ubiquitous throughout the high northern latitudes for about 13 percent of the undiscovered oil, 30 percent and that new approaches are required for construction of the undiscovered natural gas, and 20 percent of the in ice-rich environments. “Warming rates are much undiscovered natural gas liquids in the world, about 84 smaller for permafrost already at temperatures close to percent of which are expected to occur offshore. It is 0°C compared with colder permafrost, especially for estimated that these resources may account for about
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98 LESSONS AND LEGACIES OF INTERNATIONAL POLAR YEAR 2007-2008 FIGURE 5.2 Potential oil and natural gas reservoirs in the Arctic account for a significant percentage of the world’s energy resources. Map shows assessment units (AUs)—mappable volumes of rock with common geologic traits—in the Circum-Arctic Resource Appraisal (CARA) color-coded by assessed probability of the presence of at least one undiscovered oil and/or gas field with recoverable resources greater than 50 million barrels of oil equivalent (MMBOE). Probabilities for AUs are based on the entire area of the AU, including any parts south of the Arctic Circle. SOURCE: Bird et al., 2008. ice-rich permafrost where latent heat effects dominate Continued warming will limit use of ice roads, the ground thermal regime. Colder permafrost sites are which are now commonly used in Northern Canada, warming more rapidly.”6 New construction techniques Alaska, and Siberia. By 2050, inland regions of the are being developed to passively cool roadbeds in ice- Arctic, now accessible through seasonally constructed rich permafrost terrain to maintain thermal stability ice roads, may become inaccessible (Stephenson et al., and structural integrity (Xu and Goering, 2008). 2011). Presently, seasonal transportation and construc- tion in winter allows access to vast roadless regions, minimizing environmental impacts and construction costs. Most of the communities connected by the roads 6 Vladimir Romanovsky, University of Alaska, Fairbanks, per- sonal communication, 2011.
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99 KNOWLEDGE TO ACTION Navy was not an active participant in IPY 2007-2008.9 are small, remote villages, so it will not be economical to replace the ice roads with all-weather roads. However, as the importance and urgency of the Arctic ice retreat became evident during the IPY years, the Navy, U.S. Coast Guard, NOAA, ONR, National Ice Issues of Sovereignty and Security Center, and NSF cosponsored three symposia on the Rapid environmental changes establish condi- “Impact of the Ice-Diminishing Arctic on the Naval and Maritime Operations.”10 Also, in 2011, ONR tions that create more favorable local climates in some regions of the Earth but that in other regions may reestablished targeted research efforts in polar regions threaten societies and the environment. Even in the through the Arctic and Global Prediction Program. midlatitudes, climate change will exacerbate drought in ONR will expand upon the extensive understanding of some regions and flooding in others, enough to make sea ice dynamics that was gained during IPY. human habitation difficult in some areas where cities currently flourish (IPCC, 2011). The U.S. Army has Polar Policy realized the potential of this to cause international con- flict, and this has been an increasing topic of concern In response to the information generated in part and activity in U.S. Army future scenario planning.7 during IPY, governments have undertaken significant S eabed mapping and sampling associated with revisions of their policies. While the United Nations IPY has been important to inform the development of Law of the Sea still remains unsigned by the U.S. the U.S. submission to the Commission on the Limits government, there were assertive actions by U.S. gov- of the Continental Shelf regarding territorial claims ernmental agencies during IPY. During IPY years, the on the outer continental shelf. Understanding of the projections for ice-free Arctic summers, rising sea level, continental shelf and its relationship to the surround- and increased need for disaster response in the Arctic ing seas is required under the Law of the Sea Treaty, led to U.S. Navy and Coast Guard planning for Arctic which allows the Arctic rim countries, including the conditions that are unlike those of past decades (Arctic United States, Canada, Denmark, Norway, and Rus- Council, 2009). In January 2009, President George W. sia to make claims for undersea resources on, above, Bush signed the National Security Presidential Direc- and underneath the seabed up to 200 miles from their tive 66 and Homeland Security Presidential Directive natural coasts.8 25 on Arctic Regional Policy. These directives estab- In the summer of 2007, just as IPY was getting lish policies aimed at meeting national and homeland under way, a Russian expedition sent a submarine to the security needs in the Arctic, protect the Arctic environ- seabed on the Lomonosov Ridge to plant the Russian ment and conserve its biological resources, strengthen flag, claiming that it was an extension of their conti- institutions for international cooperation, involve the nental shelf. This action did not trigger any response or Arctic’s indigenous communities in decisions that affect reaction from the U.S. military. As reported by a think them, and enhance scientific monitoring and research tank of international representatives from government, in local, regional, and global environmental issues. military, and economic sectors, there is no perceived IPY also coincided with a general recognition military threat in the Arctic. Rather, the greatest that Arctic geopolitics have entered into a new era of security threat in the Arctic arises from environmental strengthened indigenous rights, increased attention or natural disasters, and an urgent need remains to establish regional and international coordination and 9 In 1948, the US Navy, Office of Naval Research (ONR) estab- cooperation in preventing and mitigating such events lished the Naval Arctic Research Laboratory (NARL) in Barrow, (Carnegie Foundation, 2008). Alaska. With the end of the Cold War and no broad acceptance that climate change was a serious problem, this facility was closed The U.S. Navy Postgraduate School in Monterey, 1980 and ORN focused on research in more temperate regions. In California, was active in sea ice modeling and moni- 2000, the US Navy began to consider the actions needed to prepare toring, though in contrast to the IGY, the operational for Naval Operations in an Ice-free Arctic. 10 I n 2007, w ww.star.nesdis.noaa.gov/star/IceSymposium.php ; 7 2009, www.star.nesdis.noaa.gov/star/IceSymposium2009.php; 2011, www.armyscienceconference.com/. 8 www.star.nesdis.noaa.gov/star/Ice2011.php. http://oceanservice.noaa.gov/facts/eez.html.
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100 LESSONS AND LEGACIES OF INTERNATIONAL POLAR YEAR 2007-2008 to Arctic matters by non-Arctic Asian and European emissions and the devastating effects of warming in nations, and an emerging role of the Arctic Council the Arctic, the ICC issued a Call to Action during the and other international frameworks. These trends COP15 meetings that addressed many issues, including were manifested through increasingly active role of calling on global leaders at COP15 to help sustain Inuit the Arctic Council and its six Permanent Participants lands and territories by ratifying a post-2012 agreement representing polar indigenous peoples in promoting to help stabilize greenhouse gas concentrations at 350 new science initiatives during the IPY years and in ppm in order to maintain long-term global temperature promoting IPY itself. Several IPY projects and result- increases well below 2°C. ing publications addressed the sociopolitical and policy While the Arctic had the Arctic Climate Impact aspects of the changing status of the polar regions (i.e., Assessment (ACIA, 2005) as a foundation coming Berkman et al., 2011; Launius et al., 2010; Shadian and into IPY, an analogous report was developed and Tennberg, 2009). released for the Antarctic during IPY. Called the Ant- The Inuit Circumpolar Council (ICC) is an inter- arctic Climate Change and the Environment (ACCE; national indigenous peoples’ organization represent- Turner et al., 2009), the report was sponsored by the ing approximately 160,000 Inuit living in the Arctic Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR). regions of Alaska, Canada, Greenland, and Chukotka Like ACIA, it is a seminal synthesis of scientific find- (Russia). The ICC had U.S. partners at universities and ings that provides a comprehensive and authoritative agencies within the United States during IPY, both for analysis useful for informing policy decisions. actions on joint IPY projects and also for discussions on The Antarctic Treaty (Secretariat of the Antarctic international issues. In 2007, the ICC was successful in Treaty, 2009), a major international document that fol- moving forward a new United Nations declaration on lowed on the heels of the IGY years, has been periodi- the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act.11 UN Resolu- cally updated, and a variety of new initiatives that link tion 61/295 adopted in September 2007 identifies the policy with the environment were advanced at several declaration as an international standard of achievement Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meetings during the IPY to be pursued in a spirit of partnership and mutual time frame, specifically the ATCM XXXII in Balti- respect, with 46 articles spanning a large range of rights, more, Maryland (April 2009), which was the first-ever including self-determination, rights not to be subjected joint meeting of the Arctic Council with the Antarctic to forced assimilation or destruction of culture, rights Treaty Consultative Meeting, and the Antarctic Treaty to participation in decision-making matters that would “Summit” dedicated to the 50th anniversary of the affect their rights, and rights to redress for lands and Antarctic Treaty in December 2009 (Berkman, 1960). traditional resources that have been used or damaged These initiatives were informed by the ACCE report without their consent. As perhaps the first people to be and other findings and included a number of science- severely affected by a climate change caused primarily based conservation and protection initiatives put forth by industrialized nations, the Inuit moved to action by the Committee on Environmental Protection on a during the IPY years. broad spectrum of topics, including climate impacts In 2008, ICC convened an IPY climate change on the environment, biological indicators of human policy workshop aboard the vessel CCGS Amundsen, impact, disturbance on wildlife, and introduction of which brought together climate change scientists and nonnative species. The ACCE had multiple U.S. coau- Inuit leaders to address the effects of climate change thors, and the report has had wide visibility in Antarctic in the Arctic region. Based on insights from these Treaty meetings, in IPCC discussions, and the United leaders, the ICC released the “Amundsen Statement: Nations Framework Conventions on Climate Change 2012 Climate Change Roadmap,”12 which highlighted (UNFCCC) meetings. their strategy for addressing the potential impacts of global climate change. Building upon the Amundsen statement and in response to rising greenhouse gas 11 www.inuit.org/index.php?id=267. 12 www.inuitcircumpolar.com.
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101 KNOWLEDGE TO ACTION Decision Making Beyond the Poles lower latitudes, including colder winter temperatures. The character of extreme winter events is influenced by many factors, including both climate oscillations Global Sea Level Rise such as El Niño, as well as longer-term trends such The current rapid climate change that is most as changes in the Arctic stratosphere and snow cover. evident in the polar regions will affect all of human- Changing weather patterns in the midlatitudes, in some ity, either directly or indirectly. The ongoing demise cases precipitated by changing conditions in the polar of glaciers and ice sheets is contributing to global sea regions, will affect agriculture, forestry, and lifestyles level rise that affects coastal communities and cities in many places on Earth. These teleconnections of the worldwide, but due to gravitational effects, it will cause Warm Arctic-Cold Continent require further research the most marked rise in North America and the Arc- through observational and modeling studies (this is tic (Raymo et al., 2011). Research conducted during also described in Chapter 2 in the section on “Sea Ice IPY helped quantify how the ice sheets are changing, Vulnerability and Teleconnections to Society”). advanced our understanding of the driving mecha- nisms, and furthered our knowledge of the rheology of Levers and Hurdles the ice sheets. Flooding of cities and increased coastal storm damage is projected to cause billions of dollars In making connections between knowledge and of damage within the timespan of a human lifetime action, there are many hurdles that need to be over- (IPCC, 2007a; Nicholls et al., 2007). come, with some interesting levers (opportunities to Public awareness of the role of ice sheets and gla- encourage action) identified through IPY activities. ciers in the climate system and their direct effect on The IPY framework served several important func- sea level grew during IPY. For example, the California tions in connecting knowledge with action. IPY was seen Coastal Commission met with scientists in 2009 with as a neutral space where the goal was the pursuit and the aim of using scientific results on sea level rise dissemination of knowledge. Academics and research- to inform their decisions on infrastructure planning ers were largely viewed as honest brokers who would along the California coast.13 The state of Delaware has represent their findings without bias. For example, developed a sea level rise action plan that rests upon the Extreme Ice Survey15 documentary on the National estimates of future sea level rise from scientific stud- Geographic Channel during IPY generated great inter- ies (Valencik, 2010). New York City’s “Responding to est and public engagement. This translation of climate Climate Change in New York State” assessment run- information into public action is new and growing, and it ning from 2008-2010 (Rosenzweig et al., 2011) used was greatly facilitated by the publicity generated by IPY. “rapid ice melt scenario based on accelerated melting Thus IPY contributed to a knowledge base that could of the Greenland and West Antarctic Ice Sheets” in its then be used by others to suit their needs. projection of potential sea level rise. A new aspect of the “knowledge to action” function of science research during this IPY is that it helped engage local stakeholders and was instrumental in gen- Sub-Arctic Weather erating the capacity-building momentum in the U.S. The “Warm Arctic-Cold Continent” weather polar regions. In earlier IPYs/IGY, there was little if pattern can influence sub-Arctic weather and is thus any local research infrastructure in Alaska besides the important for midlatitude forecasts.14 Characterizing fledging university campus in Fairbanks (then called and quantifying teleconnections among polar processes “College”). During the IPY 2007-2008 era, numerous and subpolar or temperate region responses is difficult. local players in the State of Alaska were among the key Record warm weather in the Arctic over the past 5 years beneficiaries of the U.S. engagement in IPY. The Uni- may have played some role in affecting the weather in versity of Alaska system of three urban and several rural campuses ran its own IPY program that was one of the 13 http://institute.lanl.gov/igpp/_docs/Final_SLR_workshop5-11. pdf. 14 15 www.arctic.noaa.gov/future/warm_arctic_cold_continent.html. www.extremeicesurvey.org/.
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102 LESSONS AND LEGACIES OF INTERNATIONAL POLAR YEAR 2007-2008 largest in the nation; this included active IPY research provide actionable advice; they are trained to conduct programs in a wide variety of scientific disciplines and and interpret scientific analyses. Second, through their the initiation of 11 postdoctoral fellowships for research experience with IPY, many participants became increas- that embraced the IPY philosophy and criteria. ingly aware of the value of communication through The newly expanded Barrow Arctic Science Con- education and outreach, but they also came to recognize sortium facility in Barrow acted as a major hub for that different audiences require different communication several IPY projects, ensuring the flow of resources, approaches. This has challenged the polar community knowledge, and practices to the Barrow community and to learn how to express themselves in ways that are local institutions. State offices of many federal agen- scientifically accurate but also meaningful to a variety of cies, including NOAA, USGS, NPS, HHS, Fish and audiences. Several IPY-supported activities invested in Wildlife Service, Environmental Protection Agency, training scientists to be better communicators. and U.S. Coast Guard were actively engaged in IPY Third, anthropogenic contributions to the warming research. IPY produced tangible practical outcomes and acidification trends observed in polar regions have to local stakeholders, such as improved services, flow led many polar scientists to see the need to reduce future of data, improved data management, and monitoring impacts through decreasing the emissions of greenhouse capacities, as well as active outreach programs. gases. As researchers seek, or are called on, to integrate A special “knowledge to action” impact of IPY was their research with decision making, they find that they the engagement of northern residents and indigenous encounter a complex set of issues in connecting knowl- organizations. edge with action. Who makes decisions? What informa- tion do they need for their decision making? Who imple- The inclusion of “human dimensions” in IPY 2007- ments changes? What structures incentivize change? 2008 program took it to the next level, but the vision Interactions have become increasingly difficult with of the IPY organizers eventually expanded the notion the polarization of the political and cultural landscape of inclusiveness to the range never experienced in (Overland and Wang, 2009). This has further compli- the previous “polar years.” Arctic residents, especially cated the task many scientists faced in navigating the line indigenous peoples, were recognized as important stakeholders, collaborators and drivers of new research, between conducting polar research to inform action, and and, for the first time, were explicitly called upon to conducting research to promote action. While the com- participate in IPY science. (IPCC, 2007a) munity survey run by this committee revealed concerns when there is a “mixing of advocacy with science” (Sur- Other indigenous organizations in the State of vey Response #157392819), there is a growing sense in Alaska (Eskimo Walrus Commission, Nanuq/Polar the polar research and education community that “IPY Bear Commission) as well as dozens of local com- has made ‘knowledge to action’ a proper domain for munities, from Barrow to tiny Shaktoolik (population scientists—in the past it was often disregarded as ‘activ- 160) took part in the impressive spectrum of IPY ism’” (Survey Response #158556187). research, from sea ice and weather observations to lan- Lastly, with respect to scientific data, decision mak- guage documentation, human health, and community ers, educators, and the general public are increasingly heritage programs. New technologies, improved data accessing data directly in order to tailor their own analy- management, and knowledge sharing (Gearheard et ses and interpretations. The fundamental concept of the al., 2011), better forecasting and health services, trained Arctic Observing Network (AON) was rapid access to local personnel, and science-inspired indigenous youth all data. Specifically, NSF, as a core supporter of AON, were the obvious benefits of the unprecedented local reflected decision maker and scientific community engagement in IPY research. Nothing of this kind had interests in stipulating that data from AON cannot be been achieved in any previous national polar program, embargoed and needs to be made available immediately including IGY 1957-1958 or the earlier IPY-1 and after collection. With more than 50 active AON projects, IPY-2. this open-access policy ensures that long-term Arctic As polar scientists were drawn during IPY into observations collected through a research network can working with stakeholders, scientists faced several chal- also help serve increasingly important operational needs. lenges. First, most polar scientists are not trained to
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103 KNOWLEDGE TO ACTION BOX 5.5 Perspectives on “Knowledge to Action” During IPY In the course of conducting this study, the Committee gathered institutionalize the hubs that allow much of these activities to occur. perspectives on the importance of converting knowledge to action dur- Here, a concerted effort across different federal, state and local agen- ing IPY from those inside and outside of the polar research community. cies is needed.” Some examples include: — Hajo Eicken, University of Alaska, Fairbanks “The U.S. has huge geopolitical interests in the Arctic region, and we need to understand the changes that are taking place there. Many “Many elements of the IPY networks and initiatives can provide the other countries have direct economic interests in the Arctic, and all seeds for further development of a comprehensive polar observing system. are served by joining forces in IPY research. Additionally the rapidly At present, these initiatives are acting separately, and their integration, diminishing ice in the Arctic is creating new opportunities for transport ensuring data delivery and optimization should turn them into the first and marine resource development.” functioning polar observing system, which is able to provide data for — John H. Marburger III, U.S. Science Adviser under President scientific research and practical applications. Cooperation of the IPY- George W. Bush (Revkin, 2007) born observing systems mostly driven so far by scientific and academic institutions with agencies having operational responsibilities should be “I would think a strong take-away from this IPY would be a decision encouraged to sustain the achieved and required IPY legacy in terms of to include effective communications plans, and resources for them, in polar observations.” every aspect of the effort.” — Vladimir Romanovsky, University of Alaska, Fairbanks —Roger Launius, Smithsonian Institution “Over the past decade, including the IPY, the awareness of the “Significantly, IPY has made impressive progress with the last scientific community has been heightened with respect to stakeholder goal—educating the public and decision-makers. As a variety of high needs. We are now paying much more attention to stakeholder needs and profile events and publications shared some of the program’s early we are integrating these needs into our research planning.” scientific results, it became increasingly obvious that national and in- — Peter Schlosser, Columbia University ternational policy-makers and the public are beginning to recognize the Arctic’s scientific and strategic importance. From international “We are encouraged by discoveries made during the International diplomatic events to presidential policy changes and increased science Polar Year. Look at what’s been accomplished: scientists produced de- budgets, the events of the past few months show that arctic science no tailed maps of the last unexplored mountain range on Earth, sent robot longer operates in obscurity. In this new era of arctic awareness, it is submarines under the Antarctic Ice Shelf to map the sea beds, drilled incumbent on the members of the research community to be prepared— deep beneath the sea floor to learn more about the effects of carbon both to maximize the many opportunities the new era brings and to think dioxide on the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, and shed light on how climate through the policy implications of their work.” change affects the microscopic life at the base of our ecosystem. To- —Mead Treadwell, Lt. Governor of Alaska (Treadwell, 2009) gether, these discoveries will advance our understanding and hopefully inspire us to work more closely together to limit the impacts on our “Key challenges in the post-IPY phase are how to sustain this lives.” engagement, which will require an investment of some sort to help — Hillary Clinton, U.S. Secretary of State (Clinton, 2009) data exchange between industry and academia.”16 There For example, in development of their “Arctic Roadmap,” the U.S. Navy includes the Arctic Observing Network may be a role for regulatory agencies to promote free data among the important assets and describes the need to access along with leasing requirements. increase operations of unmanned systems for Arctic data collection, monitoring, and research (U.S. Navy, CONCLUSIONS 2009). Compared to the data sharing that occurs within academic research groups, there is comparatively mod- The polar science community gained a wealth of est engagement by the private sector. “In particular the experience during IPY in learning to understand and resource industries are making major investments in the Arctic, yet, there is comparatively little coordination and Hajo Eicken, University of Alaska Fairbanks, personal com- 16 munication, 2011.
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104 LESSONS AND LEGACIES OF INTERNATIONAL POLAR YEAR 2007-2008 manage change in a time of change (Box 5.5). IPY of readiness within the polar community that is impor- showed that training and continued exposure of scien- tant for tackling future research endeavors. Looking tists to addressing real and present issues increases their ahead, further development of two-way communication, effectiveness in connecting knowledge with action, by observing systems, and predictive capability is needed to improving communication skills, influencing research maintain and extend connecting knowledge with action. agendas, and by direct experience of navigating the line At the time of this report-writing, the concluding IPY between communication and advocacy. This sets a stage Conference is scheduled to take place in April 2012, and will highlight this theme of “knowledge to action.”