Developments in polar research

The historical overview provided in this chapter also highlights important developments in polar research. Specifically, it shows the strong role of international collaboration, and even internationalism as an ideology, since the late 1800s, at least within climate-related research. This can be placed in contrast to the earlier polar research, where nationalistic motives and the building of new national images played a prominent role. There may still be commonalities; most important is that knowledge production about the Arctic was driven by interests outside the region.

It is only very recently, and partly using the emerging pan-Arctic regime as a platform, that indigenous peoples in the region have started to participate in the non-local knowledge production. Local knowledge production has a rich history of its own, which is outside the scope of this dissertation, but the structure of the current pan-Arctic regime has provided a setting where there are opportunities for local knowledge traditions to meet with the international climate science community. The Arctic thus provides an arena for studying the meeting of knowledge traditions focusing on different spatial scales. Moreover, the close connection between science and policy in this setting allows an analysis of the power dynamics in such meetings and how credible knowledge becomes defined. These issues come to the fore in the Arctic Climate Impact Assessment. This process of evaluating climate change in a regional context is described in detail in the next chapter.

Formal sponsorship Transformation Other links

Non-governmental cooperation

Intergovernmental cooperation f Activity or program f Activity or program

Figure 4.1. History of the global climate regime and some connections to the Arctic. Note the frequent links between non-governmental and intergovernmental cooperation, including joint research programs and sponsorship of activities.

Acronyms: AEPS - Arctic Environmental Protection Strategy; GARP - Global Atmospheric Research Programme; ICSU - International Council for Science (formerly International Council of Scientific Union); IGBP - International Geosphere-Biosphere Program; IGY - International Geophysical Year; IHDP - International Human Dimensions Program; IMO - International Meteorological Organization; IPY - International Polar Year; UNEP - United Nations Environment Programme; UNFCCC - United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change; WCRP -World Climate Research Programme; WMO - World Meteorological Organization.

III. A case study of the Arctic Climate Impact Assessment

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