CICERO - Center for International Climate Research
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Climate Change in Northern Regions

Bob van Oort, Marianne Tronstad Lund, Anouk Brisebois

The Earth is currently warming at a rate of 0.2 °C per decade, a pace that is unprecedented in the history of human civilization. Nowhere else on Earth has the temperature increase over the past decades been larger than in the high Northern latitudes, and the Arctic is warming about twice as fast as the global average. Climate change is affecting all regions, with consequences posing risks to society, health, infrastructure, and ecosystems. Climate change impacts and consequences are expected to intensify in the coming decades. Climate is not the only driver of change in the region, but it interacts with other drivers such as increased accessibility and globalization, land use changes, and human impacts on ecosystems. Climate change may have direct consequences, but it can also influence nature and society via cascading effects, such as changes following the food chain, or climate-induced shifts in vegetation with consequences for host-vector-disease migrations and health risks. The future levels of climate risk are determined by the rate, peak, and duration of global warming, but also by local and regional resilience, adaptive capacity, and management options of the natural and societal systems. For ecosystems, potential climatic tipping points may be critical in determining how permanent or reversible changes will be. Food and health are among the many red threads connecting the ongoing and projected changes in climate and ecosystems.

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  • Year: 2022
  • Language: English