The main hypothesis in HIARC is that the heat pollution on the background of the accelerated arctic warming is the major factor of risk and opportunity for sustainable urban/industrial development of the region. This factor needs to be adequately addressed in the bio-medical routines, cultural practices, strategic development plans and policy targets.
The HIARC objectives are to:
- Document the extent, magnitude and environmental impact of the heat pollution in arctic urban/industrial areas
- Investigate relationships between the essential climate variables and the characteristics of arctic micro-climates
- Investigate the societal and bio-medical problems of urbanization and relationships in the population of newcomers
- Compose a detailed picture of the arctic environment in 1-2K warmer climates
- Study the existing adaptation policies and standards with respect to sustainable urban development
- Inform industrial and administrative end-users about consequences and scale of heat pollution and on optional practical measures to reduce the urban heat island effects
The HIARC ambitions require an inter- and trans-disciplinary expertise because it essentially looks on the factors of environmental change created by the societal and economic processes, which, in turn, shaped by political and cultural constraints, and therefore, different across the arctic regions. This expertise is only available through tight cooperation of the participating groups, which bring together: (i) traditional climate science that is operating on large spatial-time scales (INSTAAR, NERSC); (ii) high-resolution studies that gives practically relevant details of changing environment (IEC, INSTAAR); (iii) societal science that describes urbanization drivers (GWU); (iv) political science that analyse governing routines, decision-making processes and, of particular importance, the targets set in the environmental regulations (GWU, NERSC); (v) bio-medical science that study the physical adaptation of newcomers (IEC); (vi) and, the last but not least, communication science that explore effective ways to transmit the research results to society in general and end-users among administration and managers (GWU, INSTAAR, NERSC).