THE ARCTIC

IN THE ANTHROPOCENE

EMERGING RESEARCH QUESTIONS

Committee on Emerging Research Questions in the Arctic

Polar Research Board

Division on Earth and Life Studies

NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL
                          OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES

THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS

Washington, D.C.

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THE ARCTIC IN THE ANTHROPOCENE EMERGING RESEARCH QUESTIONS Committee on Emerging Research Questions in the Arctic Polar Research Board Division on Earth and Life Studies

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THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS • 500 Fifth Street, NW • Washington, DC 20001 NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special compe- tences and with regard for appropriate balance. This study was supported by the U.S. Arctic Research Commission, the Department of Energy under award number DE-SC0008724; the National Aeronautics and Space Administration un- der award number NNX13A014G; the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration under award number WC133R-11-CQ-0048, TO#4; the National Science Foundation under award number ARC-1243485; and the Smithsonian Institution under award number 12-PO-590- 0000254005. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the sponsoring agencies or any of their sub agencies. International Standard Book Number-13:  978-0-309-30183-1 International Standard Book Number-10:  0-309-30183-1 Library of Congress Control Number:  2014944501 Additional copies of this report are available for sale from The National Academies Press, 500 Fifth Street, NW, Keck 360, Washington, DC 20001; (800) 624-6242 or (202) 334-3313; Internet, http://www.nap.edu. Copyright 2014 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America Cover image courtesy of NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center.

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The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distin- guished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone is president of the National Academy of Sciences. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. C. D. Mote, Jr., is president of the National Academy of Engineering. The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to se- cure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and educa- tion. Dr. Victor J. Dzau is president of the Institute of Medicine. The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy’s purposes of fur- thering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing ser- vices to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone and Dr. C. D. Mote, Jr., are chair and vice chair, respectively, of the National Research Council. www.national-academies.org

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COMMITTEE ON EMERGING RESEARCH QUESTIONS IN THE ARCTIC HENRY P. HUNTINGTON (Co-Chair), The Pew Charitable Trusts, Eagle River, Alaska STEPHANIE PFIRMAN (Co-Chair), Barnard College, Columbia University, New York, New York CARIN ASHJIAN, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Massachusetts LAURA BOURGEAU-CHAVEZ, Michigan Technological University, Ann Arbor, Michigan JENNIFER A. FRANCIS, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey SVEN HAAKANSON, University of Washington, Seattle ROBERT HAWLEY, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire TAQULIK HEPA, North Slope Borough, Barrow, Alaska DAVID HIK, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta LARRY HINZMAN, University of Alaska Fairbanks AMANDA LYNCH, Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island A. MICHAEL MACRANDER, Shell Alaska, Anchorage GIFFORD H. MILLER, University of Colorado Boulder KATE MORAN, Ocean Networks Canada, Victoria, British Columbia ELLEN S. MOSLEY-THOMPSON (NAS), The Ohio State University, Columbus SAMUEL B. MUKASA, University of New Hampshire, Durham TOM WEINGARTNER, University of Alaska Fairbanks NRC Staff MAGGIE WALSER, Co-Study Director LAUREN EVERETT, Co-Study Director LARA HENRY, Christine Mirzayan Fellow ELIZABETH FINKELMAN, Senior Program Assistant RITA GASKINS, Administrative Coordinator SHELLY FREELAND, Senior Program Assistant ROB GREENWAY, Program Associate v

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POLAR RESEARCH BOARD JAMES C. WHITE (Chair), University of Colorado Boulder WALEED ABDALATI, University of Colorado Boulder SRIDHAR ANANDAKRISHNAN, Pennsylvania State University, University Park JULIE BRIGHAM-GRETTE, University of Massachusetts Amherst JOHN CASSANO, University of Colorado Boulder JENNIFER A. FRANCIS, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey EILEEN E. HOFMANN,Old Dominion University, Norfolk, Virginia ELLEN S. MOSLEY-THOMPSON, The Ohio State University, Columbus GEORGE B. NEWTON, QinetiQ North America, Marstons Mills, Massachusetts RAFE POMERANCE, Independent Consultant CARYN REA, ConocoPhillips, Anchorage, Alaska GAIUS R. SHAVER, Marine Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole, Massachusetts KATEY WALTER ANTHONY, University of Alaska Fairbanks ALLAN T. WEATHERWAX, Siena College, Loudonville, New York Ex-Officio: LARRY HINZMAN, University of Alaska, Fairbanks TERRY WILSON, Ohio State University, Columbus DENEB KARENTZ, University of San Francisco, California NRC Staff AMANDA STAUDT, Board Director LAURIE GELLER, Program Director MAGGIE WALSER, Senior Program Officer LAUREN EVERETT, Associate Program Officer LARA HENRY, Christine Mirzayan Fellow AMANDA PURCELL, Research and Financial Associate RITA GASKINS, Administrative Coordinator ROB GREENWAY, Program Associate SHELLY FREELAND, Senior Program Assistant vi

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Preface T his report comes at a unique time in human history. Never before has an ocean opened up before our eyes, awakening many to the importance and relevance of the far north. Because of the Arctic’s new strategic and economic potential, most of the Arctic countries—the United States, Canada, Norway, Sweden, Denmark/ Greenland, Finland, Iceland, and Russia—have produced new or updated national Arctic plans within the past year. These countries include some of the world’s largest and strongest economies. Several of the national plans are oriented toward develop- ment and increased empowerment of northern populations, as countries grapple with the prospect of claiming newly accessible mineral and energy resources. Internation- ally, the opening of the Arctic has raised issues of sovereignty and preparedness and spurred political realignment. Recently, the European Command1 identified the Arctic as a security concern. The non-Arctic countries of China, India, Italy, Japan, Singapore, and South Korea were accepted as observers by the Arctic Council2 in 2013, joining France, Spain, Poland, Germany, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom. The United States will assume chairmanship of the Arctic Council in 2015. The Arctic itself is unique. The seasonal shifts from icy white in winter to browns, greens, and blues in summer are more extreme than anywhere else on Earth as the snow melts on land and the sea ice retreats in the ocean. The Arctic Ocean is sur- rounded by land, with narrow passages allowing interchange between the Pacific and the Atlantic oceans. Its hydrology is subject to more terrestrial influence than is any other ocean’s, and it receives freshwater from some of the largest rivers on Earth, whose watersheds include much of North America and Asia. Some have called it the estuary for the rest of the world ocean. The nearly encircling, shallow continental shelves are dominated by national Exclusive Economic Zones; no other ocean has so much of its area so designated. The United States shares international borders with Russia and Canada in the Arctic. Northern populations are unique in their relationship with the land, having thrived through some of the largest climate variations on Earth, ranging from the Ice Age, with mile-thick glaciers and frozen lands, to the warming, thawing, greening, glacial retreat, and urbanization of the Anthropocene. Resilient in the face of past changes, they face 1  See http://www.eucom.mil/. 2  See http://www.arctic-council.org. vii

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P R E FA C E a complex suite of disruptions, dislocations, and opportunities in the years to come as all climate models project continued warming and loss of sea ice, on which many of their traditional practices and food sources depend. The need for actionable Arctic science has never been greater than it is today. This report synthesizes the scientific community’s input on emerging research topics that concern the Arctic (i.e., those questions that we are only now able to ask or have a realistic prospect for studying). It especially considers topics that have been over- looked or underrepresented in current Arctic research. It also outlines opportunities and challenges in supporting new and existing research pathways and translating that research into practical information that can help guide management and policy decisions in the United States. The report is directed toward the Interagency Arctic Research Policy Committee (IARPC),3 which represents 15 federal agencies and organi- zations with responsibilities in the Arctic. It is designed to address the urgency for un- derstanding the rapidly changing Arctic by connecting the dots among future science opportunities and priorities, infrastructure needs, and collaboration opportunities at local, regional, and international levels. In preparing this analysis, the committee heard from a broad spectrum of the scientific and stakeholder communities, and we thank everyone for their thoughts and perspec- tives (Appendix B). We also thank the over 300 anonymous participants in our commu- nity questionnaire (Appendix C). Special thanks go to Marc Meloche, David Scott, and Sandy Bianchini of the Canadian Polar Commission for hosting our committee meet- ing in Ottawa. On behalf of the entire study team, we also thank the sponsors who enabled the undertaking of this important analysis. Finally, this report would not have been possible without the dedication and hard work of the National Research Coun- cil staff: Lauren Everett and Maggie Walser. We also thank Elizabeth Finkelman, Shelly Freeland, Rita Gaskins, and Rob Greenway for administrative and logistical support. Stephanie Pfirman and Henry Huntington, Co-Chairs Committee on Emerging Research Questions in the Arctic 3  IARPC member agencies / organizations include: the National Science Foundation; the Department of Commerce; the Department of Defense; the Department of State; the Department of Health and Human Services; the Department of Homeland Security; Office of Science and Technology Policy; the Department of Agriculture; the Department of Energy; the Department of the Interior; the Department of Transportation; the National Aeronautics and Space Administration; the Environmental Protection Agency; the Smithsonian Institution; and the National Endowment for the Humanities. viii

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Acknowledgments T his report has been reviewed in draft form by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise, in accordance with procedures approved by the NRC’s Report Review Committee. The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the institution in making its published report as sound as possible and to ensure that the report meets institu- tional standards for objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the study charge. The review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the deliberative process. We wish to thank the following individuals for their participa- tion in their review of this report: WALEED ABDALATI, University of Colorado Boulder EDDY CARMACK, Institute of Ocean Sciences, Fisheries and Oceans Canada F. STUART (TERRY) CHAPIN, University of Alaska Fairbanks BYRON CRUMP, Oregon State University GAIL FONDAHL, University of Northern British Columbia DONALD PEROVICH, U.S. Army Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory, Dartmouth College MARTIN ROBARDS, Wildlife Conservations Society JULIENNE STROEVE, National Snow and Ice Data Center ORAN YOUNG, University of California, Santa Barbara TINGJUN ZHANG, National Snow and Ice Data Center Although the reviewers listed above have provided many constructive comments and suggestions, they were not asked to endorse the conclusions nor did they see the final draft of the report before its release. The review of this report was overseen by John Walsh, University of Alaska Fairbanks, appointed by the Division on Earth and Life Studies, who was responsible for making certain that an independent examination of this report was carried out in accordance with institutional procedures and that all review comments were carefully considered. The authoring committee also wishes to thank numerous individuals from a broad spectrum of the scientific and stakeholder communities (Appendix B). Responsibility for the final content of this report rests en- tirely with the authoring committee and the institution. ix

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Contents SUMMARY 1 1 INTRODUCTION 15 Study Context and Charge to the Committee, 17 Study Approach and Methodology, 17 Report Organization, 20 2 RATIONALE FOR CONTINUED ARCTIC RESEARCH 23 3 EMERGING QUESTIONS 33 Evolving Arctic, 36 Will Arctic communities have greater or lesser influence on their futures?, 41 Will the land be wetter or drier, and what are the associated implications for surface water, energy balances, and ecosystems?, 42 How much of the variability of the Arctic system is linked to ocean circulation?, 45 What are the impacts of extreme events in the new ice-reduced system?, 47 How will primary productivity change with decreasing sea ice and snow cover?, 50 How will species distributions and associated ecosystem structure change with the evolving cryosphere?, 52 Hidden Arctic, 56 What surprises are hidden within and beneath the ice?, 57 What is being irretrievably lost as the Arctic changes?, 59 Why does winter matter?, 61 What can “break or brake” glaciers and ice sheets?, 62 How unusual is the current Arctic warmth?, 64 What is the role of the Arctic in abrupt change?, 67 What has been the Cenozoic evolution of the Arctic Ocean Basin?, 69 Connected Arctic, 71 How will rapid Arctic warming change the jet stream and affect weather patterns in lower latitudes?, 75 What is the potential for a trajectory of irreversible loss of Arctic land ice, and how will its impact vary regionally?, 76 xi

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CONTENTS How will climate change affect exchanges between the Arctic Ocean and subpolar basins?, 78 How will Arctic change affect the long-range transport and persistence of biota?, 79 How will changing societal connections between the Arctic and the rest of the world affect Arctic communities?, 82 Managed Arctic, 84 How will decreasing populations in rural villages and increasing urbanization affect Arctic peoples and societies?, 88 Will local, regional, and international relations in the Arctic move toward cooperation or conflict?, 90 How can 21st-century development in the Arctic occur without  compromising the environment or indigenous cultures while still benefiting global and Arctic inhabitants?, 92 How can we prepare forecasts and scenarios to meet emerging management needs?, 95 What benefits and risks are presented by geoengineering and other  large-scale technological interventions to prevent or reduce climate change and associated impacts in the Arctic?, 99 Undetermined Arctic, 101 Priority Setting, 104 4 MEETING THE CHALLENGES 111 Enhancing Cooperation, 111 Interagency, 113 International, 113 Interdisciplinary, 115 Intersectoral, 116 Cooperation through Social Media, 116 Sustaining Long-Term Observations, 118 Rationale for Long-Term Observations, 118 Coordinating Long-Term Observation Efforts, 120 Managing and Sharing Information, 124 Preserving the Legacy of Research through Data Preservation and Dissemination, 124 Creating a Culture of Data Preservation and Sharing, 125 Infrastructure to Ensure Data Flows from Observation to Users, Stakeholders, and Archives, 126 Data Visualization and Analysis, 129 xii

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Contents Maintaining and Building Operational Capacity, 131 Mobile Platforms, 132 Fixed Platforms and Systems, 137 Remote Sensing, 138 Sensors, 145 Power and Communication, 147 Models in Prediction, Projection, and Re-Analyses, 150 Partnerships with Industry, 151 Growing Human Capacity, 153 Community Engagement, 154 Investing in Research, 157 Comprehensive Systems and Synthesis Research, 157 Non-Steady-State Research, 159 Social Sciences and Human Capacity, 159 Stakeholder-Initiated Research, 160 International Funding Cooperation, 160 Long-Term Observations, 161 5 BUILDING KNOWLEDGE AND SOLVING PROBLEMS 165 REFERENCES 171 APPENDIXES A Acronyms and Abbreviations 191 B Speaker and Interviewee Acknowledgments 195 C Summary of Questionnaire Responses 199 D Biographical Sketches of Committee Members 205 xiii

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180° E 1 160 °E 160 °W W 50 NORTH PACIFIC Bering Sea °N OCEAN 14 Sea of 0 0 0 0 0° W Okhotsk 60 °N UNITED STATES Chukchi Arc ti c (Alaska) Sea Ci rcl e Wrangel Island 70 °N East Siberian CA NA DA Sea Beaufort New Sea Siberian Islands Banks Island Laptev Sea Victoria ARCTIC OCEAN R U SSI A Island Queen Elizabeth Islands Severnaya Zemlya North Ellesmere Pole Island Kara 80° W Franz Sea Baffin Josef Island Baffin Land Bay Novaya 80° N Zemlya Greenland Barents Svalbard (DENMARK) (NORWAY) Sea Greenland °W Sea 60 Labrador Sea Jan Mayen 70° N (NORWAY) FI NL Norwegian SWEDEN AND I CEL A ND Sea 60 °N Faroe Islands (DENMARK) N OR WAY EST. NORTH Shetland Islands LAT. °W ATLANTIC 40 LITH. North OCEAN Sea DENMARK BELARUS 50 °N UKRAINE UNITED POLAND IRELAND KINGDOM NETH. GERMANY MOL. CZECH V. BEL. REP. SLO 0 250 500 mi HUN. ROMANIA FRANCE AUS. W 0 250 500 km 20° Scale accurate at 81° N The Arctic.