PACTS: Pan-Arctic Cycles, Transitions, and Sustainability
This document presents a plan for a research program—Pan- Arctic Cycles, Transitions, and Sustainability (PACTS)—focused on transitions and changes in arctic biophysical, biogeochemical and social systems, a component of the National Science Foundation's Arctic System Science Program. The focus of the research is the interaction of physical and living systems (e.g., the hydrological cycle and the tundra ecosystem), rather than the individual systems themselves. The guiding principles be- hind the research are vulnerability and sustainability: How much will changes in climate and the pathways of change affect biotic- abiotic interactions and what will the consequences be for humans, plants and animals? How might these changes feed back to the climate? Because change is inherent in all systems, we ask the question: "How vulnerable will individual compo- nents of the Pan-Arctic System be to the expected changes?"