Arctic Monitoring & Assessment Program
The principal purposes of the Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Program (AMAP) are to document levels and trends of environmental contaminants; assess the effects of contaminants on Arctic biota and ecosystems; anticipate adverse biological, chemical and physical changes in Arctic ecosystems; and evaluate potential risks from environmental contamination to Arctic residents and ecosystems and recommend actions required to reduce such risks. AMAP is also concerned with potential impacts on the Arctic region of climate change and increased ultraviolet radiation.
The AMAP Working Group is one of five working groups under the eight-nation Arctic Council.
The Arctic Council is an intergovernmental forum that addresses the common concerns and challenges faced by the Arctic governments and the people of the Arctic. The main activities of the Council focus on protection of the Arctic environment and sustainable development as a means of improving the conomic, social and cultural well-being of the north. The U.S. Government chaired the Council during 1998-2000. The Government of Finland is the chair of the Council for the period 2000-2002. Visit the Arctic Council website for more information.
CIFAR & IARC
The Cooperative Institute for Arctic Research (CIFAR) is a partnership between NOAA and the University of Alaska Fairbanks to promote cooperation between scientists at the University and NOAA laboratories. CIFAR works most closely with NOAA's Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory and the National Marine Fisheries Service. Details may be found on the CIFAR website.
The International Arctic Research Center (IARC) has been established at the University of Alaska Fairbanks to serve as a focal point for international cooperation in global change research in the Arctic. Details may be found on the IARC website.
NOAA's Arctic Research Office cooperates with a large number of federal, state and local agencies, educational institutions, and international organizations that are involved in Arctic research.
In FY 2000 and 2001, for example, ARO combined some of its resources with those of other agencies to help undertake an Arctic Climate Impact Assessment. This assessment will culminate in 2004 with a peer-reviewed report on the state of knowledge of climate variability and change in the Arctic, a set of possible climate change scenarios, and an analysis of the impacts on ecosystems, infrastructure and socio-economic systems that will likely result from various climate change scenarios.
In FY 2001, ARO used some of its resources to begin implementation of an interagency Arctic climate science effort called SEARCH (Study of Environmental Arctic Change). An interagency plan was developed by a working group of program managers from NOAA, NSF, NASA, EPA, DOD, DOE, DOI, the Smithsonian Institution, and the Arctic Research Commission. A report containing the plan was approved by the Interagency Arctic Research Policy Committee.
The first part of the interagency SEARCH plan identified ten Arctic research activities relevant to SEARCH that individual agencies were already scheduled to implement in FY 2001. It proposed that these activities be carried out in a coordinated fashion. The ten activities are outlined in Appendix 2 of the working group report. IARPC also asked the Interagency Working Group to prepare a coordinated implementation plan for FY2003. As a first step, the Working Group prepared an implementation framework for 2003 and beyond that will be reviewed over the coming months.