Arctic Council Working Groups ACAP, AMAP, CAFF and PAME are all meeting this week in Tromsø, Norway. To mark the occasion, we’re highlighting a series of projects from their portfolios. This article focuses on the AMAP project “Adaptation Actions for a Changing Arctic” (AACA)...


“Climate, environmental, and socio-economic drivers will interact and amplify the complexity of decision-making in an unpredictable and rapidly changing Arctic. Cumulative changes may increase existing pressures in the Arctic, while also creating new opportunities.”

This is the background for the Arctic Council project “Adaptation Actions for a Changing Arctic” (AACA) led by the Working Group Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme (AMAP). The project engages upwards of 100 researchers from more than 10 countries from disciplines as diverse as economics, sociology and climate modelling.

Martin Forsius, the Chair of AMAP, explains why the project is important: “Conventional assessments of climate, environmental and socio-economic issues in the Arctic have mostly focused on single drivers, such as climate, ocean acidification, persistent organic pollutants, health, oil and gas exploration, and development, to name just a few. AACA will consider the interactions of multiple drivers and provide a scientific foundation for decision makers in the Arctic to better deal with climate change and other pertinent environmental stressors in the future”.

AACA will make an important contribution to our understanding of future Arctic change, the consequences of these changes, and the ways in which both humans and the environment can adapt. The project covers three pilot regions: the Barents region; Baffin Bay/Davis Strait; and the Bering/Chukchi/Beaufort region. The project will break new ground by integrating knowledge from many different fields of expertise, and across regions with large cultural diversity.

Chair of AACA Tom Armstrong (USA), says “Developing a comprehensive knowledge base of how the drivers of the rapidly changing Arctic interact will provide decision makers with the resources they need to respond to the challenges and prudently take advantage of opportunities.”

AACA is expected to present its results to ministers at the Arctic Council Ministerial Meeting planned for spring of 2017.

Learn more about this project on AMAP’s website ( and at the AACA project site.

Photo: Polar scientists on an ice floe.
Photo credit: iStock/Tenedos