Table of Contents

Settlements at the Edge

Settlements at the Edge

Remote Human Settlements in Developed Nations

New Horizons in Regional Science series

Edited by Andrew Taylor, Dean B. Carson, Prescott C. Ensign, Lee Huskey, Rasmus O. Rasmussen and Gertrude Saxinger

Settlements at the Edge examines the evolution, characteristics, functions and shifting economic basis of settlements in sparsely populated areas of developed nations. With a focus on demographic change, the book features theoretical and applied cases which explore the interface between demography, economy, well-being and the environment. This book offers a comprehensive and insightful knowledge base for understanding the role of population in shaping the development and histories of northern sparsely populated areas of developed nations including Alaska (USA), Australia, Canada, Greenland, Norway, Russia, Sweden, Finland and other nations with territories within the Arctic Circle.

Chapter 13: Climate change and settlement level impacts

Deanne Bird, Robert McLeman, Guðrún Gísladóttir, Ilan Kelman, Marius Warg Næss and Guðrún Jóhannesdóttir

Subjects: geography, human geography, population studies, urban and regional studies, regional studies


Deanne Bird, Robert McLeman, Guðrún Gísladóttir, Ilan Kelman, Marius Warg Næss, Guðrún Jóhannesdóttir and Guðrún Pétursdóttir INTRODUCTION It is widely suggested that poorer nations, typically located in the lower latitudes, will bear the brunt of climate change impacts (for example, Mendelsohn et al., 2006). However, adverse impacts are expected to occur both sooner and more intensely in high latitudes than in other locations (ACIA, 2005; AMAP, 2011; IPCC, 2013). Particular concerns for tundra and Arctic coastal regions include rising surface temperatures that cause near-urface (upper 3.5 metres) melting of permafrost, more frequent s r ainfall events that raise flood risks, potentially higher rates of coastal erosion, and changes to the spatial extent, thickness, and seasonality of sea ice (Engen- kaugen et al., 2008; Flannigan et al., 1998; Hanssen- auer, S B 2009; IPCC, 2012, 2013). Below the treeline, warming temperatures are expected to stimulate widespread pest outbreaks in boreal forests and to trigger further ecosystem changes in plant and animal species distributions, some of which may be non-inear in nature (Sambaraju et al., 2012; l Scheffer et al., 2012; Stralberg et al., 2015). While some of these changes may be beneficial to northern communities and settlements (for example, more rain may reduce the occurrence of forest fires), most impacts will present significant challenges to their adaptive capacity. To illustrate some of the various ways in which climate change will challenge the adaptability of northern communities, this chapter...

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