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The Arctic region is warming almost four times as fast as the global average. Snow and ice are thawing at an increasing rate, and the rapid environmental shifts have a disproportionate effect on communities across the Northern Hemisphere. Thawing permafrost raises global attention because it contributes to the release of greenhouse gases. Frozen soils are melting for the first time in thousands of years. The degradation also causes many negative consequences for Arctic communities. Permafrost disrupts community infrastructure, cultural heritage, and the Arctic landscape. The growing seasons lengthen, greening the Arctic throughout the year, which changes animal migration. Communities in several Arctic regions have reported on the impact on subsistence activities. Scientists have observed changes in hydrology where modifications in drainage pathways have led to drying parts of the rivers, which in turn affects travel routes[1].
The consequences of climate change and permafrost degradation can profoundly affect the lives of young people, both in the present and the future. It is crucial to address this issue and take action to mitigate and adapt to the impacts of climate change. Effective climate adaptation strategies for the Circumpolar North must encompass and prepare everyone, with a particular focus on youth. The voices of younger generations are crucial, as they are the ones who will form society in the coming decades. This knowledge brief draws attention to examples of practices where Arctic youths' perspectives on climate change and permafrost degradation are highlighted. The age range of the youth addressed here includes young people of legal age who are actively engaged in studies and/or work, and we also include early-career experts up to the age of 35.