Over the last four decades, the Arctic climate has been warming at an unprecedented rate. Well, temperatures are rising pretty much everywhere. The increase scene in the Circumpolar North is twice the global average. This is a big, well-documented change. For years now, researchers and residents alike have seen sea levels rise and snow cover, sea ice, and glaciers shrink. This is having significant and likely long-term impacts on ecosystems which are now under threat from invasive species and changing food supplies. Climate change is also affecting living conditions for human inhabitants. Arctic communities are particularly at risk, not only because temperatures are rising faster in the Circumpolar North than elsewhere, but also because the nature and distribution of these communities we have already explored. They're often located along remote shorelines, was small, widely dispersed populations and are frequently economically vulnerable. Coastal erosion, flooding, storms, and permafrost thaw can threaten homes, infrastructure, and access to basic services. Existing structures such as buildings, roads, bridges, railways, and pipelines are becoming more expensive to maintain as the ground becomes unstable and weather becomes more extreme. Traditional livelihoods of indigenous peoples are also at serious risk as changing snow and ice conditions impact hunting and fishing. However, as we've already discussed, this warming of the Arctic is also presenting economic opportunities. The Circumpolar North natural resources, including fish, minerals, and fossil fuels, are becoming increasingly accessible. While many wildlife populations are in decline, some fish stocks, such as macro, appear to be expanding their ranges as northern waters warm. More navigable waters means new shipping routes are opening up and growing numbers of tourists are traveling northwards. There is also potential to increase our knowledge about this region. Right now we're working around some major gaps in our scientific understanding of environmental change and the geology of the Arctic. This information would be hugely useful in managing the risks of development in the Circumpolar North and adapting to the risks of climate change. The combination of rising interests in both economic opportunities and sustainable development practices, as well as concerns about the climate, present a scenario in which Arctic communities and countries are motivated to cooperate. This could prompt further development of frameworks for common standards, transparency, and best practices that could greatly support public interests. Responses to climate change often fall into two categories, mitigation and adaptation. Adaptation is defined as the process of adjustment to actual or expected climate and its effects. In other words, what we do to reduce the harm caused by climate change. Examples of adaptation might involve building structures such as seawalls and dikes that protect against flooding or create bylaws that prevent construction and areas at risk of rapid erosion and encourage building practices that resist damage from permafrost thaw. By contrast, mitigation is focused on preventing further effects of climate change from coming to pass. Examples of mitigation include the transition to renewable energy sources, sustainable city planning that reduces water and energy use, or the development of energy-efficient buildings and technologies. Researches have stressed that responses to climate change must not focus on mitigation alone, and that these strategies work best when both are applied. The urgency of solutions to problems vulnerable communities are already experiencing helps hammer this home. The reality is that no matter how successful our mitigation strategies are, we can't stop climate change in its tracks. The impacts of choices made by previous generations and administrations will continue to play out for many years to come. Unfortunately, this is easier said than done. Well, people are becoming more aware that adaptation is urgently needed. This type of action is often viewed as the responsibility of local governments. By contrast, mitigation efforts have seen international cooperation and sweeping policy changes. The leg and adaptation policy is holding back meaningful progress and exacerbating the unfair burden Arctic communities have in the face of climate change, despite their exceptionally low contribution to global greenhouse gas emissions.