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Resilience and Vulnerability of Northern Regions to Social and Environmental Change

Resilience and Vulnerability of Northern Regions to Social and Environmental Change,10.1639/0044-7447(2004)033[0344:RAVONR]2.0.CO;2,Ambio,F. S. Chapin

Resilience and Vulnerability of Northern Regions to Social and Environmental Change   (Citations: 47)
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F. S. Chapin, G. Peterson, F. Berkes, T. V. Callaghan, P. Angelstam, M. Apps, C. Beier, Y. Bergeron, A.-S. Crépin, K. Danell, T. Elmqvist, C. Folkehttp://academic.research.microsoft.com/io.ashx?type=5&id=6853774&selfId1=0&selfId2=0&maxNumber=12&query=
ern Sea Route above Eurasia or the Northwest Passage above North America becomes ice-free during summer, as expected within the present century, these connections will become even stronger. An ice-free Arctic Ocean might, for example, make the extraction of oil and gas from northern regions more eco- nomical. These are the largest proven oil and gas reserves in the world, but their extraction is currently too costly to com- pete effectively on the global market. Arctic and boreal regions are home to numerous native cul- tures, most of which still have strong cultural ties to the land and/or seas. The traditional knowledge that has been the basis of their survival is a rich source of experience in the manage- ment of natural resources. At a time when many of the world's fisheries, forests, and other renewable resources are threatened by overexploitation, these diverse cultural traditions may pro- vide sources of innovation that could lead to more sustainable strategies of resource management in the north (12, 13). How- ever, the natural biological resources in the north are threat- ened by anthropogenic impacts from outside the region, such as climate change. Species like mosses, lichens, and algae, which are well represented in the north, often play important roles as "ecosystem engineers" by creating soil organic matter, insulating sub-surface ground temperatures and permafrost, and sequestering nutrients. Such species are particularly sensi- tive to changes in the environment and disturbance regime. In summary, northern ecosystems are increasingly linked to the rest of the globe through myriad physical, biological, cul- tural, and economic ties. Our challenge is to recognize and pro- mote those attributes of linked social-ecological systems that will reduce their sensitivity to the onslaught of rapid global change.
Journal: Ambio , vol. 33, no. 6, pp. 344-349, 2004
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