Welcome to the project, "Social Vulnerability to Climate Change of Alaskan Coasts".

In February 2007 the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Assessement Report 4 was officially released. In the volume Summary for Policymakers is the quote:

Warming of the climate system is unequivocal, as is now evident from observations of increases in global average air and ocean temperatures, widespread melting of snow and ice, and rising global average sea level.

This is not news for Alaska. First signaled thirty years ago by indigenous observations of change in the marine ecosystem of the Bering Sea, Alaska is undergoing change. Largely arising from warming temperatures, the region is witnessing permafrost melt and sea-ice retreat on a scale not seen in indigenous cultural memory. What are the impacts of this change? What will be the impacts to come? What information can be placed in the hands of communities and planners to aid in change adaptation and mitigation? These questions form the core drivers that guide the investigative spirit of this project.

To accomplish this objective the project is organized around four major sub-components, with coordination of each sub-component in the hands of an expierienced research scientist. The thematic sub-components, with objectives and linkages, are grouped into several broad themes: storms, climate projection downscaling, marine ecosystem impacts, and social impacts and linkages. This organization brings together an unusual team of scientists and represents a unique strength and potential.

With atmosphere, ocean and social researchers aligned towards a common goal, major anticipated project accomplishments will include:
  • Transfer of research results into the hands of those who need them
  • Application of the NOAA Weather and Research Forecast (WRF) model in a large research appication with direct public benefit
  • Collation of disparate obsrevations and research results concerning change
  • Development of new, high-resolution datasets tailored for detailed climate change analysis