The report of the Arctic Climate Impact Assessment (ACIA), a four-year scientific study, has been published. The ACIA documents warming-related changes that are already underway in the Arctic region and projects the effect of these trends as warming continues throughout the century.
The Arctic Council - a ministerial intergovernmental forum comprised of eight nations including the United States and six Indigenous Peoples federations - commissioned the study. Two of its working groups, the Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme () and the Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna () along with the International Arctic Science Committee () were charged with the implementation.
The ACIA finds that North American glaciers are melting at an accelerating rate and air temperatures across Alaska and Siberia are rapidly warming, with substantial impacts to Artic communities and wildlife. Among the ecological impacts noted are impacts to Arctic-dependent species; ecosystem changes caused by shifting vegetation zones; and increases in frequency and intensity of fires, insect infestations, and other disturbances. ACIA employed five global climate models using the mid-level greenhouse gas emissions scenario of the 2001 IPCC report. The projected impacts described in this report are based on observed data and a moderate scenario of future warming, not a worst-case scenario. The results summarized in the report do not include thorough economic analyses of climate change impacts because the necessary information is not presently available.