The Melting Arctic

The Melting Arctic project was initialized by Knut Espen Solberg in 2006 with the aim to gather scientific data and enhance our knowledge of the effects of climate change on the Arctic environment and the Arctic population. The project has been carried out together with CICERO (Center for International Climate and Environmental Research), Nansen Environmental Remote Sensing Center and UNESCO along with some commercial sponsors. The Melting Arctic has so far resulted in a TV-documentary series, one book, numerous lectures and use of our material at different conferences such COP15 and the International Polar Year Conference in Oslo.


Collection of oceanographic data in the Sermilik Fjord, East Greenland

Anthropology: Sensitivity and vulnerability to climate change for the indigenous population of the Arctic.

Elder hunters in particular have specific observations and thoughts on changing climatic conditions based upon their own experiences in nature. As hunters, they must provide food for their families and are dependent on the success of a hunt meaning they pay particular attention to weather patterns, the abundance of animals and their yearly migration routes. Their observations are highly localised and situation in the context of their traditional knowledge and historical roots however, despite the grate variability in both latitude and longitude throughout the Arctic, there seems to be a similar trend of phenomena that concerns the hunters. In general it is apparent that the hunters pay far more attention to climate effects that influence the outcome of a catch than to other things that do not affect their daily lives to the same degree.

Our goal is to use interviews and conversations and use our knowledge of changing economic and environmental conditions to document the complex aspects of the local populations vulnerability and adaption to climate change.
Climate change has a higher impact in the Arctic region than anywhere else as the indigenous people living there have had to adapt to the changing environment, a process which is experience across all levels of their society.Culture, experience and knowledge shape the way different observations are conducted and how they are interpreted. The culture of the indigenous people in the Arctic have strong bonds with husbandry, identity and nature.Scientists often talk about climate change in terms based on scientific methods and data yet the indigenous people of the Arctic do not have the same approach as it is something that affects their everyday lives.