Arctic Research in the National Interest

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  08 Aug 1986:
Vol. 233, Issue 4764, pp. 633-639
DOI: 10.1126/science.233.4764.633


The Arctic Research and Policy Act of 1984 was designed to advance arctic research in the national interest. Some of the research fields that require attention are weather and climate; national defense; renewable and nonrenewable resources; transportation; communications and spacedisturbance effects; environmental protection; health, culture, and socioeconomics; and international cooperation. A research framework recommended by the Arctic Research Commission includes, in order of priority, integrated investigations to understand: (i) the Arctic Ocean (including the marginal seas, sea ice, and seabed) and how the ocean and atmosphere operate as coupled components of the arctic system; (ii) the coupled atmosphere and land components and how their interaction governs the terrestrial environment; and (iii) the high-latitude upper atmosphere and its extension into the magnetosphere with emphasis on predicting and mitigating effects on communications and defense systems. A separate recommendation is for high priority research to resolve the major health, behavioral, and cultural problems related to the arctic environment. Recommendations are also made concerning support services and management.