What's New?

Draft ISAC Science Plan

The ISAC Draft Science Plan, prepared by the ISAC Science Steering Group, was released in March 2009 for review and public comment. A revised science plan will be available in fall 2009. For further information, please review the ISAC Draft Science Plan at the International Study of Arctic Change website, or contact Maribeth Murray, ISAC Director, at murray [at]


The International Study of Arctic Change (ISAC) is a long-term, multidisciplinary, international, and pan-arctic program developed to study the effects of environmental change on the circumpolar arctic and the connections with the global system.

Four principal hypotheses guide ISAC research:

  • The complex of interconnected changes is driven by global change but is also influenced by regional arctic feedbacks.
  • Amplification of climate signals in high latitudes, especially in the Arctic, lead to amplitudes of observed changes that are larger than those observed in lower latitudes.
  • The observed changes are expected to continue and possibly accelerate in the future.
  • The observed changes in the Arctic have large impacts on ecosystems and societies.

Planned ISAC activities include:

  • Completion of the ISAC Science Plan (planned for 2008)
  • Building on the SEARCH Project Catalog to incorporate ISAC projects
  • Providing information to other arctic programs and stakeholders
  • Providing a forum for scientific discussion of standards and norms, sharing of information between organizations, and of best practices for communication of scientific information.
  • Fostering cooperation and communication among ongoing initiatives and activities
  • Identifying data gaps in research and monitoring and fostering synthesis
  • Ensuring appropriate data dissemination
  • Engaging in capacity building

ISAC is jointly sponsored by the Arctic Ocean Sciences Board (ASOB) and the International Arctic Science Committee (IASC), and is governed by a Science Steering Group (SSG).

International Study of Arctic Change (ISAC) Activities

ISAC Presentation (PDF - 6.4 MB)