Arctic Report Card 2022: Highlighting the consequences of rapid environmental Arctic change for people

In a new essay, SEARCH highlights how people in the Arctic experience the combined effects of rapid environmental change. Weather, ecosystem and infrastructure disruptions, shifting animal movements, multi-faceted decision-making, and people’s ability to adapt and mitigate these changes are among the impacts discussed in this new essay.

Forty-one Indigenous, scientific, and policy experts in SEARCH co-produced the essay for the 2022 Arctic Report Card, released on Tuesday 13 December at the American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting in Chicago.

Consequences of rapid environmental Arctic change for people is informed by a recorded oral history from Ahtna Dine’ Storyteller Wilson Justin of the Althsetnay Headwaters People Clan in Chistochina, Alaska. Wilson was interviewed by SEARCH co-Principal Investigator Jacqualine Qataliña Schaeffer, who also serves as the Director of Climate Initiatives with the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium.

“We need to say ‘stop.’ Climate change is unsolvable until we stop doing what we do in terms of these conflicts, overlaps of what we would call hostilities,” says Justin in his recorded oral history. “I’m not doing the hippie thing where I say you’ve gotta love everybody. I’m saying you’ve gotta love the universe more than you love yourself. And the universe is all about your future grandchildren.”

NOAA recognizes SEARCH’s contribution to the 2022 Arctic Report Card as “the most comprehensive chapter in the Arctic Report Card’s 17-year history about how these dramatic environmental changes are being felt by the descendants of the original residents of the Arctic–Indigenous people, and how their communities are addressing the changes.”

SEARCH synthesizes observations, findings, and discussions shared over the past year amongst 41 experts ranging from Indigenous Knowledge Holders and scientists to decision makers from all levels of businesses, communities, and governments.

In a highlight for the 2022 Arctic Report Card, SEARCH authors write that “Addressing unprecedented Arctic environmental changes requires hearing one another, aligning values, and collaborating across knowledge systems, disciplines, and sectors of society.”

The conversations that resulted in this co-produced written chapter for the Arctic Report Card took place during in-person convenings in Anchorage and Nome, monthly team meetings, bi-weekly reading group discussions, bi-monthly integration group conversations, all hosted on Zoom, as well as regular collaborating and editing of electronic documents shared in Google Drive.

Inspired by the complexity of collaboration required to co-create this written chapter and oral history, we strive to honor and acknowledge all unique contributions made to SEARCH’s chapter in the Arctic Report Card using the CRediT (Contributor Roles Taxonomy) approach to attribution

To learn more about each co-author’s individual contribution to the SEARCH chapter in the Arctic Report Card, please click here or navigate to the “Products” page in the menu above.

Read the full 2022 Arctic Report Card.

SEARCH would like to express our gratitude and appreciation to the editors and publishers of the Arctic Report Card at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and to Wilson Justin for sharing his knowledge, experience, and expertise.