Limits of pastoral adaptation to permafrost regions caused by climate change among the Sakha people in the middle basin of Lena River

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9 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This article focuses on the pastoral practices of the Sakha people in eastern Siberia to explore the impact of climate change on human livelihood in permafrost regions. Sakha use grassland resources in river terraces and the alaas thermokarst landscape for cattle-horse husbandry. Although they practice a different form of subsistence than other indigenous arctic peoples, such as hunter – gatherers or reindeer herders, the adaptation of Sakha has been relatively resilient in the past 600–800 years. Recent climate change, however, could change this situation. According to hydrologists, increased precipitation is now observed in eastern Siberia, which has resulted in the increase of permafrost thawing, causing forests to die. Moreover, local meteorologists report an increase of flooding in local rivers. How do these changes affect the local pastoral adaptation? While describing recent uses of grassland resource by local people, and their perception of climate change through anthropological field research, I investigated the subtle characteristics of human-environment interactions in pastoral adaptation, in order to identify the limits of adaptation in the face of climate change.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)395-403
Number of pages9
JournalPolar Science
Volume10
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016

Keywords

  • Ice-jam flood
  • Lena river
  • Limit of adaptation
  • Permafrost
  • Sakha

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Aquatic Science
  • Ecology
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)

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