Arctic Change Québec City-Canada December 11-15, 2017



With over 1450 registrants, Arctic Change 2017 has been by far the most popular annual gathering in ArcticNet’s history. Arctic researchers, Inuit, First Nations and Northern community representatives, government and non-government organizations, students, and industry stakeholders from 22 countries convened in Québec City from December 11-15, 2017, to discuss global challenges and opportunities arising from climate change and modernization in the circum-Arctic.

Nathan’s role

Oral Presentation Read


S. Debortoli, Nathan (1) (Presenter), Sayles, Jesse (1), Dylan G. Clark (1) James D. Ford (2)

(1) McGill University, Montréal QC, Canada

(2) University of Leeds, Leeds, United Kingdom

Evaluating a community’s vulnerability to Climate Change (CC) is frequently done through qualitative assessments that draw upon local and regional dynamics. However, decision-makers frequently require quantitative assessments, particularly those that include ranked indices, which can measure and map vulnerability in its three overlapping dimensions (exposure, sensitivity, and adaptive capacity) and to larger scales. Though vulnerability science has advanced rapidly during the last decades, there are only a few available methodologies that can help detect and measure the weight of variables and indicators used in quantitative approaches. Aiming to contribute to this field, we launch a novel approach providing a systematic understanding of literature review findings into a multiplex network analysis determining which variables poses a higher degree of connectivity and importance in CC vulnerability. The aim of this multiplex network is to help the parameterization and calibration of CC indices models through the correct selection of variables-indicators and their weights in any given region. Thus, to implement this, we chose the Canadian Arctic, where there have been numerous qualitative community-based studies of vulnerability concerning the Inuit. We considered vulnerability within four sub-sectors of Inuit life as well as their aggregate. The four sub-sectors are 1) infrastructure and transportation, 2) business and economy, 3) health and wellbeing and 4) culture-education & subsistence-harvesting. The multiplex network analysis identified n = 58 paramount variables aggregated into n = 13 categories cross-cutting the three vulnerability dimensions. Vulnerability results depict a high degree of exposure caused by extreme weather events such as floods, temperature changes, storm surge and coastal erosion. Sensitivity is mostly driven by the cost of living and relative poverty, while adaptive capacity decreases the latter through natural resources and risk management, future planning and wage income. The multiplex results also revealed that some network nodes are more multiplex meaning that there may be multiple pathways to reduce the effects of any given variable on vulnerability; i.e., we can target relationships of sensitivity or exposure or both for a given variable. Furthermore, the results helped to visualize which variables play a major role and have a higher weight in the four analyzed categories. This will foster the correct selection of indicators to implement quantitative vulnerability indices for the entire Inuit Nunangat.

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