ISAC is an open ended, international, interdisciplinary arctic environmental change program. To succeed ISAC requires observation and tracking of arctic changes, understanding their nature and causes, and the feedbacks and connections among them. ISAC encompasses pan-Arctic, system-scale, multidisciplinary observations, synthesis and modeling to provide an integrated understanding of arctic change and projections of future change. The ISAC Science Plan provides a vision for integrating research among diverse fields and varied users and stakeholders.
ISAC is motivated by environmental changes that are already large enough to affect life in the Arctic. Future system states are uncertain and the lack of predictability hinders efforts to develop strategies for adapting to and managing a changing Arctic.
The following key science questions are prompted by observed changes and our current understanding of the Arctic System.
ISAC Science Questions
1. How is the Arctic linked to global change?
2. How persistent is the presently observed arctic change and is it unique?
3. How large is the anthropogenic component of observed arctic change compared to natural variability?
4. What are many aspects of arctic change amplified with respect to global conditions?
5. How well can arctic change be projected and what is needed to improve projections?
6. What are the adaptive capacities and resilience of arctic ecological systems?
7. To what extent are ecological systems able to adapt to the effects of arctic change?
8. How does environmental change in the Arctic affect the resilience, adaptive capacity, and ultimately the viability of human communities?
9. How can new insights into arctic change and its impacts be translated into solutions for increased adaptation, management, and mitigation?