Ultraviolet radiation

Unique to the ACIA compared to the IPCC reports is that it includes a discussion of ozone depletion and impacts of ultraviolet (UV) radiation under the overall rubric of climate change. For example, there are frequent references to the word radiation, which for the most part refers to UV radiation. This is hardly a surprise as it was part of ACIA's mandate to also assess the impact of increasing UV radiation in connection

72 Interview Magdalena Muir, March 24, 2004; Interview Pal Prestrud, April 15, 2004; Observation notes London meeting of the Assessment Integration Team and the Assessment Steering Committee October 2003.

73 Interview Magdalena Muir, March 24, 2004; Interview Pal Prestrud, April 15, 2004.

74 Interview 20.

75 Interview Magdalena Muir, March 24, 2004. Also, the Convention on Biodiversity (CBD) is mentioned in CAFF's workplan in connection with its Circumpolar Protected Area Network (CAFF 20022004 Progress Report and 2002-2006 Work Plan. Presented to the Senior Arctic Officials and the Arctic Council Ministers at the Fourth Ministerial Meeting November 2004).

with depletion of the ozone layer while this task is not central to IPCC's mandate but is handled in joint efforts by United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO).

The reasons for including UV radiation issues in an assessment that mainly focuses on climate change impacts are far from obvious. There are no signs of any push for such an assessment from global policy or assessment processes. In fact, during the ACIA process, there were substantial difficulties in connecting with WMO's global assessment on ozone depletion and ultraviolet radiation.76 Moreover, the scientific communities dealing with the different issues only overlap to a limited extent. A main driver appears to have been the default organization of issues, where UV and climate change had been treated in the same context in the first Arctic assessment of these issues, from 1997/98. Both issues were relatively low on the Arctic agenda, with reference to existing global regimes, and the political mandate of the working groups had mainly been to assess issues related to core activities of pollution and conservation, and to raise specifically Arctic issues in relation to the global regimes. IASC had also treated UV and climate issues under the same umbrella, so this common frame was in no way odd to the Arctic science community. In addition to this "default" framing, a major point in the 1997/98 AMAP assessment was that the two issues are connected in the Arctic via the region's special atmospheric dynamics where warming creates colder conditions and more ozone depletion in the upper parts of the atmosphere.77 The previous scientific framing of Arctic ozone depletion and increased UV radiation was thus closely connected to climate change. Early in the ACIA process when one of the lead authors raised the concern that UV issues were not given sufficient emphasis, she says she was assured that use of "climate change" in the assessment title included ozone and UV issues.78 There is also a statement from one of the Arctic Council meetings that illustrates a strong framing of UV and climate as part of the same issue in the Arctic: "ACIA will show the connection between UV-B and climate change."79 This supports the idea that before the ACIA, climate and UV issues fell within the same scientific and policy framing in the Arctic Council, or at least much more so than they have been in the global discourse.

But is the connection between climate and ultraviolet radiation present in the ACIA reports or are they treated as separate issues? In most of the chapters, they are separate issues. The main exceptions are the chapters on terrestrial and freshwater ecosystems, the introduction and the summary, and to a more limited extent the chapter dealing with the atmospheric dynamics of UV radiation and the chapter on multiple stressors. In other chapters, UV is under a separate heading or mentioned hardly at all. These results from the qualitative analysis are further supported by a quantitative text analysis counting how many times the words ozone, UV, or ultraviolet appears within ten words of

76 Observation notes 10th meeting of the Assessment Steering Committee, London, October 2003; Interview Elisabeth Weatherhead, November 8, 2004.

77 Elisabeth C. Weatherhead, "Climate Change, Ozone, and Ultraviolet Radiation," in AMAP Assessment Report. Arctic Pollution Issues, AMAP Assessment Report. Arctic Pollution Issues, 717-774 (Oslo: Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme, 1998).

78 Interview Elisabeth Weatherhead, November 10, 2004.

79 Notes from the Second Ministerial Meeting, Barrow, Alaska, US, October 12-13, 2000, which is not a full transcript of the meeting.

climate. In several chapters the count is zero. Early in the ACIA process, the Assessment Steering Committee decided that UV issues should be treated in relevant places in the various chapters of the assessment.80 This outcome shows that connecting these issues was left to the lead authors. It was up to them to decide how to include UV impacts or whether to include them at all. A lead author, who was with the process from the beginning, describes this situation as follows:

The original mandate was for us to assess the effects of climate change and UV radiation in the Arctic ... We met early on in Washington to give ourselves a name ... And through long discussions, it was proposed that it would be Arctic Climate Impact Assessment instead of Arctic Climate, Ozone and UV Assessment, strictly to keep it down to a simple moniker. I was okay with that change and they were very clear that climate for their context would mean both the temperature, humidity, precipitation, and wind, and radiation fields . Several of us have noted that since that point, ozone and UV have gotten hardly any attention.81

In the overview document, the separation of UV and climate becomes even more apparent. For example, a subheading in the overview's introduction states that "Stratospheric ozone depletion is another issue."82 Moreover, the integration that comes out in some of the science chapters is barely visible in the overview. The only connection made between the issues in the overview is that the recovery of the Arctic ozone layer is likely to be delayed because of greenhouse warming. The separation may have been further accentuated by the need to simplify the scientific explanations in a popular science account. The following statement from the supporting evidence section illustrates this point: "Many people confuse the issues of ozone depletion and climate change. While the two are interrelated in a number of ways, they are driven by two different mecha-nisms."83 Observations during a meeting of the Assessment Integration Team also support that it was a struggle to find ways of treating the UV material in the overview documents as it did not fit well with how the report was structured.

What circumstances might have contributed to this explicit separation in the overview and the de facto separation in many of the chapters of the scientific report? One factor may be the political organization of knowledge production and global governance of these issues by two separate sets of regimes: a climate regime represented mainly by the UNFCCC and the IPCC and an ozone regime represented organizationally by WMO/UNEP. From the documentation of the ACIA process, it is clear that there were difficulties in connecting to the WMO ozone/UV assessments, which is in sharp contrast to the close connections and coordination with the IPCC. For example, during early modeling workshop the lack of coordination with an ongoing international assessment in the WMO was identified, forcing the ACIA chair to request alternatives at the following Assessment Steering Committee meeting because information from WMO's as

80 Summary report of the 5th Assessment Steering Committee (ASC) Meeting, June 15-16, 2000, Danish Polar Center, Copenhagen, Denmark.

81 Interview Elisabeth Weatherhead, November 10, 2004.

82 ACIA, Impacts of a Warming Arctic: Arctic Climate Impact Assessment, 2.

83 ACIA, Impacts of a Warming Arctic: Arctic Climate Impact Assessment, 98.

sessment would be "too late."84 The lack of coordination with the WMO was a sore point between one of the lead authors of the UV chapter and the ACIA chair up until the very end of the ACIA process.85 It is difficult to judge to what extent "personal chemistry" among some key actors contributed to the lack of coordination, but the end result was that UV issues were not highlighted as much as climate change.

The governance separation of climate and UV issues may in turn have kept the scientific fields apart, unless there were special circumstances to merge them. The two main common denominators in the chapters that do not treat them as separate in the ACIA scientific report are either a preference for the local level with a focus on complexity and a knowledge base in ecology, or some commitment to the initial framing (i.e. introduction, UV chapter, and the summary). The norms of the Arctic Council were obviously not strong enough to impose a framing that combined the issues in the ACIA report as a whole.

Author interviews also suggest that ozone depletion and UV radiation are often seen as "solved" issues and thus do not have the same political priority as climate change.86 The urgency to call attention to climate change in the Arctic may therefore also have been at play when placing the impacts of UV radiation in the background. This also might provide context as to why UV issues are even more placed in the background in the overview. Since the overview is aimed at an audience of policy makers and the broader public, the priority may well have been to provide a clear message on climate change.

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