The Barents region is one of few remaining areas with a relatively pristine natural environment: this implies a high quality of life, but it also entails a great responsibility.
Most of the European Arctic is biologically richer and more productive than other Arctic areas because of the warming effects of sea currents and air masses. Despite low population density, the areas are influenced by several heavy industrial activities. Continued human habitation and economic development in the Barents Region can only be possible if its fragile ecosystem is used in a sustainable way.
Climate change in the Barents region
The global temperature has increased over one degree since the pre-industrial period. Within the Barents region, the increase has been about two degrees, and warming is expected to continue over the next century. According to recent studies, the Barents region is likely to be strongly affected by the impacts of climate change. Changing climate will have severe impacts especially on the more vulnerable sectors, societies, and local environments that have less possibility for adaptation. Political action is needed on national, regional, and municipal levels, but these levels should work together and complement each other (Sokka, et. al. 2020. Impacts of climate change and its mitigation in the Barents region).
For the Barents region, the climate models show increased precipitation
and more floods. Temperatures are rising, especially during the winter,
and very cold temperatures became scarcer. Big changes in the
temperature will get more common. Extreme weather events (such as
storms, floods and droughts) are expected to increase globally.
How climate change will affect biodiversity and traditional livehoods in the Barents region?
New virtual exhibition Through the eyes of the gyrfalcon describes nature in the Barents region from the viewpoint of a young gyrfalcon journeying around the north in search of a home.