Conceptualizing Cold Disasters: Disaster Risk Governance at the Arctic Edge

Kristian Cedervall Lauta, Morten Thanning Vendelø, Birgitte Refslund Sørensen, Rasmus Dahlberg

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Present literature on disasters predominantly focuses on warm, accessible and well-populated contexts. However, as human activities in Arctic and Antarctica become more common, cold contexts, and their special characteristics, become more relevant to study. In the present article, we explore in more depth the particular circumstances and characteristics of governing what we call 'cold disasters'. The article is structured in four overall parts. The first part, Cold Context, provides an overview of the specific conditions in a cold context, exemplified by the Arctic, and zooming in on Greenland to provide more specific background for the paper. The second part, Disasters in Cold Contexts, discusses 'cold disasters' in relation to disaster theory, in order to, elucidate how cold disasters challenge existing understandings of disasters, also it provides examples of emergency scenarios, in order to, demonstrate the demanding dynamics of cold contexts. In the third part, Governing Cold Disasters, we discuss the main implications for the governance of 'cold disasters' in the Greenlandic context. Finally, we offer our conclusions.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction
Pages (from-to)1276-1282
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2018

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