2011 – Arctic Tipping Points

History has repeatedly demonstrated that economic, political, social or ecological pressure on systems results in unexpected changes, ultimately leading to regime shifts. Yet these often rapid changes, culminating in tipping points, are rarely included in management strategies. Examples of tipping points are ubiquitous; such as the decline of cod fisheries in Canada in the late 1980s and, more recently, the international banking crisis. Increased anthropogenic activities and changing climate in the Arctic are expected to have significant economic, political, and social impacts for Arctic nations and Arctic ecosystems. In order to better prepare, and increase the awareness of rapid and unforeseen changes in the Arctic, Arctic Frontiers 2011 addresses the key issue of tipping points. Issues to be examined include, how should societies achieve a balance between human use and protection of the environment in the High North? Can research predict abrupt changes and contribute to promote sustainable development in the Arctic? What measures must be taken to ensure that a significant share of the wealth generated from activities in the Arctic, is reinvested in the region?


  • Part I: Ice-ocean-atmosphere interactions in the Arctic
  • Part II: Marine ecosystems and fisheries
  • Part III: Socioeconomic and institutional perspectives
  • Part IV: People of the North

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