Permafrost thaw in the Arctic and sand extraction in Greenland – new articles from Nordregio researchers
Senior Research Fellow Leneisja Jungsberg and Research Fellow Justine Ramage have published an article examining permafrost perceptions in three Arctic communities. Jungsberg has also written a comment for a study examining opportunistic climate adaption in Greenland. The article ‘No longer solid’: perceived impacts of permafrost thaw in three Arctic communities, published in Polar Geography, is written by Nordregio researchers Dr. Justine Ramage and Dr. Leneisja Jungsberg. The article examines local communities’ perceptions of permafrost change. The study, carried out between 2019 and 2020 in Aklavik (Northwest Territories, Canada), Longyearbyen (Svalbard, Norway), and Qeqertarsuaq (Qeqertalik Municipality, Greenland), shows that the majority of the 237 participants are well aware of the consequences of permafrost thaw on the landscape as well as the connection between increased air temperature and permafrost thaw. – Permafrost thaw is perceived as a major cause for challenges in subsistence activities, infrastructure, and the physical environment. Different perceptions within the three study communities suggests that perceptions of thaw are not solely determined by physical changes but also influenced by factors related to the societal context, including discourses of climate change, cultural background, and land use, Dr. Jungsberg states. What do you think is interesting to point out for a broader audience? – Permafrost characterizes ground conditions in most of the Arctic and is increasingly thawing. While environmental consequences of permafrost thaw are under intense scrutiny by natural and life sciences, social sciences’ studies on local communities’ perceptions of change are thus far limited. This hinders the development of targeted adaptation and mitigation measures. Read the article here. What are the economic opportunities for glacially-derived sand extraction in Greenland? Senior Research Fellow Leneisja Jungsberg has also recently published Turning Greenland’s sand into gold – a comment for a study examining opportunistic climate adaptation in Greenland. With the warming climate an…
Climate Coffee with Dr. Jungsberg: How to manage permafrost thaw in Northwest Greenland
On the 2nd of June, Nordregio Senior Researcher Dr. Leneisja Jungsberg will participate in a Climate Coffee to share about her study examining the adaptive capacity for managing permafrost degradation in Northwest Greenland. The study focuses on three aspects: community awareness, institutional organisation, and scientific knowledge to inform decision-making. “Permafrost degradation is a big challenge for many Arctic communities. Results from this study illustrate the impact of permafrost degradation on the physical environment, hunting and harvesting, housing, and the economy in Northwest Greenland. House owners are mending damage caused by ground movement, and local institutions are concerned with the maintenance of roads and other public infrastructure impacted by permafrost,” says Dr. Jungsberg. The empirical material is informed by questionnaire and interview data from fieldwork, frozen ground temperature records, and published data forecasting the deepening of the active layer. Results illustrate that much of the adaptation practices are carried out ad-hoc and due to a lack of human and financial resources there are currently no long-term solutions. The research leading to this study received support from the Nunataryuk project, funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Program. Climate coffees are relaxed meetings for scientists to exchange ideas, discuss about their latest results and new methods with their fellow scientists. Climate coffees are an initiative of ECRA and Blue-Action. Read the article here. Register for the Climate coffee here.
Nordregio at the “Population Dynamics and Climate Implications in the Arctic” webinar
Nordregio researchers Timothy Heleniak and Justine Ramage will present at the “Population Dynamics and Climate Implications in the Arctic” webinar. They will participate in a panel discussion on Arctic Population Dynamics and share their insights based on Nordregio projects ”Polar Peoples in the Future: Projections of the Arctic Populations” and “Atlas of population, society and economy in the Arctic”. The webinar will provide a forum for experts and attendees to: Identify human geography data which provides a foundation for examining the changing environment in the Arctic Explore Arctic demographic trends, including outmigration, urbanization, and settlements, and their broader impacts Discuss participatory and other local mapping processes conducted with indigenous peoples to better understand human security issues in the Arctic region Webinar speakers and the WWHGD Working Group Support Team will highlight and share relevant methods and data during the event. You will also have the opportunity to collaborate with other participants, share data, and pose questions to the speakers. The webinar is sponsored by the World-wide Human Geography Data Working Group and hosted by the Office of the Geographer of the U.S. State Department. The WWHGD is co-led by the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency and the U.S. Department of State. Find more information and registration here.
Nordregio’s position regarding the funding of research and research collaboration with Russia and Belarus
The Council of Nordic Ministers decided as of March 4, 2022, to immediately discontinue all collaborative efforts with Russia and Belarus. The Nordic Ministers for Cooperation stand united in this decision. This means that programs, projects, and activities in Russia and Belarus are discontinued until further notice. In light of the stance put forth by the Nordic Ministers for Cooperation, Nordregio issues a moratorium as regards the disbursal of project funds, the acceptance of applications, the execution of projects, and the entry into agreements and the like that involve Russian and Belarusian parties. The intention is to end all contacts and collaborative efforts with governmental and public institutions of Russian or Belarusian origin. “Intellectual and cultural engagement between individuals is an important prerequisite to creating cohesion and mutual understanding between countries. It is devastating that this war in this way will affect cooperation in academia, research and culture – fields that are meant to serve as tools for mitigating conflicts, building global understanding across borders and supporting people-to-people contacts. The Director reserves the right to decide whether specific contacts and collaborative efforts are appropriate on a case-by-case basis if the circumstances change in the future,” says Nordregio Director Rolf Elmér. Nordregio has been involved with four projects with one or several Russian counterparts: FemArc, Semper Arctic, WANO and Accelerating wood construction across Nordics and Russia. All of these projects have been halted.
Nordregio and Female Arctic project at the Barents Spektakel 2022
Nordregio Senior Research Fellow Anna Karlsdóttir will present the Female Arctic project at the Barents Spektakel Festival. During the 18th edition of the Barents Spektakel, between the 23rd and 27th of February 2022, Nordregio Senior Research Fellow Anna Karlsdóttir will present the Female Arctic project. Funded by the Swedish Institute, this initiative is a participatory filmmaking project where participants from the Murmansk region learn the basics of documentary films to create a movie about women living and creating in the Arctic. During the event, Anna Karlsdóttir will present comparative perspectives from the mining communities in Sweden and women’s agency, drawing on historical evidence and using examples of Swedish women in Norrbotten. The presentation will also feature parts of the film in the making, and curators and participants will share their experiences of co-creating the film. Female Arctic was preceded by a pilot project on empowering women in industrialized cities of the North when the project partners organized workshops in Murmansk. A new golden age of celebration and decadence? A long overdue reunion with friends and family? Or a false dawn for normality? The 2022 edition will focus on movements, mobility, community, and the re-making of meeting places. The festival aims to become a platform for imagination again through a cross-border programme of performances, exhibitions, concerts, debates, discussions, a bar concept, and an art symposium. During these uncertain times, still in transition, now is the time to ask ourselves: Where do we go from here? Read more about the festival!
Nordic population issues at the conference “Learning in the North”
This year’s Learning in the North – NVL/EPALE conference looks at the world’s challenges concerning the green shift, the digital transformation and the increasing globalization trend. Nordregio Senior Research Fellow Timoty Heleniak will participate in the event and discuss population issues in the Nordic High North and Arctic. In his presentation, Timothy Heleniak will focus on the Nordic High North, defined as the northern regions of Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Greenland, Iceland, the Faroes. He will also compare the other areas of the Arctic facing similar demographic dilemmas. “The northern areas of the Nordic region face a number of demographic challenges. These include scattered settlements, declining and aging populations, and often gender imbalances along the urban hierarchy. These demographic trends often make sustaining vibrant economies difficult. Many regions in the High North are actively working to address these demographic trends through various policies and programmes,” – says Dr Heleniak. How can cooperation between educational actors, administration and business contribute to the development of a sustainable and competitive society and a work and business life in the North? How can the High North succeed in developing and utilizing the right competencies for tomorrow’s business and social life in the North? These are some of the questions that will be discussed at the conference. The conference will also contribute to achieving the Nordic Council of Ministers’ Vision 2030 goals for a green, socially inclusive, and competitive Nordic region. It will also address the European Skills Agenda’s goal of developing competence to strengthen sustainable competitiveness, social inclusion, and resilience in the face of crises. Find more about the conference here.