The impacts of climate change, infrastructure, and the interactions between them in vulnerable Arctic landscapes are both complex and urgent. The Rapid Arctic Transitions due to Infrastructure and Climate (RATIC) initiative was created in 2014-15 as a forum to promote sustainable infrastructure as a key theme in Arctic research planning—one that requires multidisciplinary collaboration by scientists, local communities, governments and industry to be successful.
The 4th RATIC workshop was held at Arctic Science Summit Week (ASSW) 2019 in Arkhangelsk, Russia. This full-day workshop brought together 51 participants from 11 countries to share their work and identify research priorities. The group also discussed opportunities to advance RATIC goals through participation in the three-year, circumpolar T-MOSAiC (Terrestrial Multidisciplinary distributed Observatories for the Study of Arctic Connections) project. The workshop was sponsored by the International Arctic Science Committee (IASC) as a cross-cutting activity of the Terrestrial, Cryosphere, and Social & Human Working Groups. Workshop presentations, abstracts, and a summary report are available at www.geobotany.uaf.edu/ratic/workshop2019.
At the May 2019 workshop in Arkhangelsk, RATIC participants:
• Prioritized key scientific questions related to sustainable Arctic infrastructure in natural, social and built environments and identified a range of data products that would help answer these questions, including a pan-Arctic geospatial database of existing and planned infrastructure, a time-series analysis based on available imagery, and an update to the International Permafrost Association (IPA) Circum-Arctic map of permafrost and ground-ice conditions.
• Developed a conceptual approach for pan-Arctic infrastructure research that would use a classification of infrastructure types to inform selection of monitoring and observation sites in collaboration with local communities and in places where access and resources exist.
• Agreed to form an Arctic Infrastructure Action Group under T-MOSAiC as the nexus for RATIC activities in 2019-2021. More on the goals and members of the action group can be found at