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Ambio. 2012 Dec;41(8):808-22. doi: 10.1007/s13280-012-0336-8. Epub 2012 Jul 25.

Mapping human dimensions of climate change research in the Canadian Arctic.

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Department of Geography, McGill University, Montreal, QC, Canada.


This study maps current understanding and research trends on the human dimensions of climate change (HDCC) in the eastern and central Canadian Arctic. Developing a systematic literature review methodology, 117 peer reviewed articles are identified and examined using quantitative and qualitative methods. The research highlights the rapid expansion of HDCC studies over the last decade. Early scholarship was dominated by work documenting Inuit observations of climate change, with research employing vulnerability concepts and terminology now common. Adaptation studies which seek to identify and evaluate opportunities to reduce vulnerability to climate change and take advantage of new opportunities remain in their infancy. Over the last 5 years there has been an increase social science-led research, with many studies employing key principles of community-based research. We currently have baseline understanding of climate change impacts, adaptation, and vulnerability in the region, but key gaps are evident. Future research needs to target significant geographic disparities in understanding, consider risks and opportunities posed by climate change outside of the subsistence hunting sector, complement case study research with regional analyses, and focus on identifying and characterizing sustainable and feasible adaptation interventions.

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