Arctic Future Scenarios

What Are Future Scenarios?

Photo by Paula Dell (PolarTREC 2013) Future scenarios are narratives that represent combined sets of assumptions about possible futures in a system. They are intended to give decision-makers a framework of data for strategy planning. Unlike forecasts, scenarios are never intended to draw a single picture of the future. Scenarios describe the entire realm within which the future may unfold, thereby allowing preparation for different outcomes or eventualities.

The work of SEARCH Action Teams is well-suited for futures thinking in Arctic research and policy development. While investigating key features of the Northern cryosphere, SEARCH teams also explore the potential effects of future climatic changes on sea ice, near-surface permafrost, land-ice loss, and the social systems tied to these geophysical changes.

Arctic Future Scenarios Working Group

The Arctic Future Scenarios Working Group’s charge is to outline SEARCH’s plan of action for the next 2-3 years that results in the production of interdisciplinary, synthetic scenarios of the Arctic’s future. Additionally, this group is responsible for planning a scenarios-focused capstone meeting for the program in 2019 and establishing the strategic partnerships with funders and other institutions necessary to engage stakeholders and the wider Arctic research community in this collaborative initiative.

Working Group Members:
* CHAIR - Brendan Kelly, University of Alaska Fairbanks (SEARCH Executive Director)
* Amy Lovecraft, University of Alaska Fairbanks
* Helen Wiggins, ARCUS
* Caspar Ammann, NCAR
* Marika Holland, NCAR
* Sea Ice Action Team Leads
* Land Ice Action Team Leads
* Permafrost Action Team Leads