Impacts of climate change on biodiversity and ecosystem goods and services in the Barents Region
The climate of the world is warming rapidly, and high-northern latitudes are expected to experience a rise above the global average, threatening biodiversity and putting stress on human society. The aim of this project funded by the Nordic Council is to evaluate the effects of climate change on biodiversity and ecosystem goods and services in the Barents Euro-Arctic Region, that is northern Norway, Sweden, Finland and north-western Russia. This will be done by forming a multidisciplinary team of 10-12 scientists, all prominent within their fields, to address a number of questions or problems in a series of workshops. Specifically, the project will:
- Evaluate in which areas impacts are expected to be largest, which species are threatened by extinction and which species are likely to invade;
- Produce state-of-the-art syntheses of predicted future effects of climate change in the Barents Region, and in-depth predictions for selected ecosystems, e.g. boreal forests, wetlands, freshwater and alpine ecosystems;
- Evaluate the efficiency of the existing network of protected areas in safeguarding species in the Barents Region under climate change;
- Provide guidance and recommendations for adapting ecosystem management and conservation strategies in the Barents Region;
- Analyse how changes in the provision of ecosystem goods and services will affect human resource use and livelihood, with special emphasis on indigenous people;
- Identify the most urgent needs for additional knowledge to form the basis for future research.
The team members will address theses issues during three one-week workshops, and each participant will be assigned to complete a number of tasks in between workshops, such as data analysis and writing. Results from the project will be communicated through scientific review and policy papers, a popular report aimed at policymakers and the public, and a website with information and documents relevant for the project.
Left picture abowe. The interaction between human society and ecosystems may change as a result of a warmer landscape. The Village Norra Örnäsudden in Lake Storvindeln, Västerbotten.
Right picture abowe.
Both the ice conditions and the flow regime of rivers will change with a warmer climate.
Picture to the left. Mountain avens (Dryas octopetala), one of the species which may become less widespread within the region.