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This annex highlights the results of a study focusing on the potential impacts of ocean acidification and other climate- related stressors on marine species relevant for subsistence fisheries in the Western Arctic Bioregion. The study uses a knowledge co-production approach developed in the form of a multi-step process based on a combination of modelling and analysis tools including the Scientific Method and Indigenous Traditional Knowledge (Figure A6.1). Once all steps have been completed, uncertainties can be estimated and improvements can be made either with respect to the individual steps or to the linkages between them. The process can then be repeated, including those improvements to provide a revised assessment with reduced uncertainty ranges. The steps can be summarized as follows: (1) analyze past observed trends; (2) perform projection simulations with global and regional climate models, allowing trend estimates on 20–50 year timescales; (3) assess physiological responses and thresholds in marine species via literature research, Indigenous Traditional Knowledge, observations and focused laboratory experiments; (4) add trends, climate model projections and physiological response data to species distribution / habitat suitability and higher trophic level Ecosim/ Ecopath (see Section A6.3) models; (5) assess socio-economic impacts by applying bio-economic models, evaluating current fishery-economic activities, and discussion with communities/ community representatives; and (6) review law and governance. The latter addresses adaptation measures on global, regional and national scales.

This annex describes the first application of the multi-step framework in the Western Arctic Bioregion. At this point in time all the required tools have been developed, but not all components have been adequately linked. For example, while higher resolution model projections are available for the area the habitat suitability and economic models are still driven by global climate models, the Ecopath model (see Section on The Beaufort Sea food web model) has not yet been run into the future and physiological responses are reflected in the higher trophic level models to a limited extent, if at all. In addition, while collaboration with local communities has been established (see Section on Community interests), Indigenous Traditional Knowledge has been included to a very limited extent. To summarize, this case study provides an assessment that includes all required tools, but limited linkages. It has a strong focus on uncertainty analyses and the identification of gaps in knowledge. Particular emphasis is given to the key forage fish species Arctic cod (Boreogadus saida), since climate model projections can be linked more directly to key forage species than to the (mostly) higher trophic level species harvested.