Arctic Climate Impact Assessment


Geographical coverage

Geographical scale of the assessment Regional
Country or countries covered Canada, Denmark, Greenland, Russia, Iceland, Norway, United States, Finland, Faroe Islands, Sweden
Any other necessary information or explanation for identifying the location of the assessment, including site or region name

Conceptual framework, methodology and scope

Assessment objectives

  • To provide a comprehensive and authoritative scientific synthesis of available information about observed and projected changes in climate and UV radiation and the impacts of those changes on ecosystems and human activities in the Arctic. The synthesis also reviews gaps in knowledge and the research required to fill those gaps.The intended audience is the international scientific community, including researchers and directors of research programs.The ACIA Scientific Report fulfills this goal.

  • To provide an accessible summary of the scientific findings, written in plain language but conveying the key points of the scientific synthesis.This summary, the ACIA Overview Report (ACIA, 2004a), is for policy makers and the general public.

  • To provide policy guidance to the Arctic Council to help guide the individual and collective responses of the Arctic countries to the challenges posed by climate change and UV radiation.The ACIA Policy Document (ACIA, 2004b) accomplishes this task.

Mandate for the assessment

Conceptual framework and/or methodology used for the assessment

Other (please specify)

scientific assessment, similar to the IPCC

URL or copy of conceptual framework developed or adapted

System(s) assessed

  • Marine
  • Coastal
  • Inland water
  • Polar

Species groups assessed

Ecosystem services/functions assessed


  • Food
  • Energy/fuel
  • Minerals


  • Climate regulation

Supporting Services/Functions

Cultural Services

  • Recreation and tourism

Scope of assessment includes

Drivers of change in systems and services


Impacts of change in services on human well-being


Options for responding/interventions to the trends observed


Explicit consideration of the role of biodiversity in the systems and services covered by the assessment


Timing of the assessment

Year assessment started

Pre 2000

Year assessment finished


If ongoing, year assessment is anticipated to finish

Periodicity of assessment

One off

Assessment outputs


Communication materials (e.g. brochure, presentations, posters, audio-visual media)

Journal publications

Training materials

Other documents/outputs

Tools and processes

Tools and approaches used in the assessment

  • Modelling
  • Scenarios

Process used for stakeholder engagement in the assessment process and which component

Key stakeholder groups engaged

The number of people directly involved in the assessment process

Incorporation of scientific and other types of knowledge

  • Scientific information only
  • Traditional/local knowledge

Supporting documentation for specific approaches, methodology or criteria developed and/or used to integrate knowledge systems into the assessment

Assessment reports peer reviewed



Accessibility of data used in assessment

Policy impact

Impacts the assessment has had on policy and/or decision making, as evidenced through policy references and actions

Independent or other review on policy impact of the assessment


Lessons learnt for future assessments from these reviews

In responding to climate change, Member States are taking two sets of actions: mitigation and adaptation. Both kinds of actions require extensive communication and education about climate change and its impacts. Further research, observations, monitoring and modelling is needed to refine and extend the ACIA findings.

Capacity building

Capacity building needs identified during the assessment

Actions taken by the assessment to build capacity

How have gaps in capacity been communicated to the different stakeholders

Knowledge generation

Gaps in knowledge identified from the assessment

How gaps in knowledge have been communicated to the different stakeholders

Additional relevant information