Conclusions and discussion

This review shows that climate science and political concerns have become increasingly connected and that actor networks involved in producing knowledge about the climate have become structured as part of a global climate regime. It also shows that the development of climate science and Arctic research have been closely linked since the mid-1800s. Both globally and in the Arctic, knowledge production has been intertwined with political concerns. Although the initial driver for carrying out global climate science was scientific curiosity about Earth as a system, concerns about human impacts on the global environment have become increasingly important with time. State interests in using scientific and environmental cooperation as tools for ensuring political security have also been a powerful driver. In climate science and policy, actor networks and state interests have often merged in international regimes. The regimes have played a role for mustering resources that strengthened the actor networks. Experiences from the Arctic show how they can also serve as venues for new actors to challenge the power of western scientific knowledge in framing issues and setting the policy agenda.

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