Arctic Yearbook 2015 - Page 401

Commentary Arctic Futures Initiative: A Holistic Approach to Arctic Futures Anni Reissell, Hannu Halinen, Peter Lemke & Charlie Vörösmarty In the age of globalization, the Arctic interacts with the rest of the world, and vice versa, in a complex manner—societally, economically, technologically, and environmentally. The complexity of the dynamic global system poses significant societal, research, policy and governance challenges for the Arctic. Then again, the Arctic has to be seen in a global context. The Arctic is of increasing strategic interest, both regionally and globally, due to the opportunities as well as challenges brought about by the pronounced physical, biological as well as social and economic changes observed across this critical part of the Earth system. Much of the interest is either directly or indirectly centered on the Arctic as a key epicenter of global climate change—both in terms of the impacts on it as well as Anni Reissell is Science Coordinator at the University of Helsinki, Finland, and Guest Research Scholar at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA). Ambassador Hannu Halinen is Special Advisor to the IIASA Director General and Chief Executive Officer, Co-Chair of AFI Advisory Board, and member of the Arctic Yearbook Editorial Board. Peter Lemke is professor at the University of Bremen, heads the Climate-Initiative REKLIM of the Helmholtz Association, and is Co-Chair of the AFI Advisory Board. Charles Vörösmarty is Director of the Environmental CrossRoads Initiative, Advanced Science Research Centre, City University of New York, Member of the U.S. Arctic Research Commission (USARC), and Co-Chair of the AFI Advisory Board.