IASC 25 years - Page 50

Cover of the Arctic Climate Impact Assessment (ACIA) Report the Inuit Circumpolar Council, Sheila Watt Cloutier. The chapter leads were also encouraged to involve young scientists where possible. One notable success was a young researcher (Margareta Johansson) who acted as an assistant in the ACIA process, a co-lead in the Snow, Water, Ice, and Permafrost in the Arctic (SWIPA) follow-up assessment of 2011, and an independent lead in the forthcoming Arctic Freshwater Synthesis. Interaction among the chapter authors was stimulated by holding cross-fertilization meetings, and chapters were added or split during the evolution of the assessment. Altogether, the assessment was prepared over four years, and involved an international team of more than 300 scientists, other experts, and knowledgeable members of the indigenous communities. Did ACIA reach its goals? ACIA was an overwhelming success and raised public awareness around the world of climate change issues in the Arctic. This was achieved through an extensive outreach program targeted at the general public, students, policy makers, Arctic residents, religious leaders and royalty. The findings from ACIA were fed into the 4th IPCC Assessment of 2007;2 some ACIA Are there aspects that could have been improved authors were also IPCC chapter authors. Because with hindsight? Sadly, it is not possible to identify ACIA was the world´s first assessment of a specific a global policy decision based on ACIA findings in geographical region, the Polar Chapter of IPCC had the same way that the Montreal Protocol and its a vast amount of detail upon which to draw. Com- amendments can be seen to follow from assess- bined with the amplified changes in the Arctic, this ments of stratospheric ozone depletion. Mitigating made the Polar Chapter of IPCC generally accepted measures against climate change are, apparently, as the strongest of the impacts chapters. There is simply too complex and costly at the present time. no doubt that ACIA strongly contributed to the suc- However, ACIA is the cornerstone of Arctic Change cess of IPCC and its joint award of the Nobel Peace Assessments that will continue to update ACIA Prize in 2007. Although ACIA was not intended to findings and will be available when policy-makers be a textbook, the strength of its findings is based need information on Arctic change. on a long-term perspective and an understanding based on first principles. Consequently, the ACIA As in other assessments, there was a lack of syn- technical volume and its chapters3 that were pub- chrony between the stage of development of the lished and widely distributed in the scientific jour- climate change models that should have been used nal Ambio, became reference and teaching texts to determine impacts that, in turn, should have that are still used extensively today. The excellent been used to drive assessments of consequences graphics and schematic diagrams used throughout for people and construction of adaptation options. the text and in the popular science summary vol- This is a perennial problem that has not yet been ume greatly added to the importance of ACIA as resolved. When the ACIA Report was first released, teaching and outreach tools. only the popular science volume was available and, 4 49 02 IASC Initiatives