This study aims to deepen the understanding of the impact of climate change on human societies in arctic areas, and to consider the adaptations made by these societies. Previous studies have focused on local perceptions, which should be key to developing processes and solutions, by taking into consideration all stakeholders in order to integrate their views with scientific knowledge. We aim to discern the appropriate quality of perceptions: in other words, what range of perception is needed to ascertain adaptation strategies. This study clarified different perceptions of climate change among local residents in a small community in eastern Siberia where various environmental changes, such as permafrost thaw, have occurred in recent years or are in progress. Structured questionnaire surveys and unstructured interviews were conducted in Khayakhsyt Village, Sakha Republic. The results showed that drought is a serious, focal climatic event in this area, and that local residents have historically adapted to this event by increasing the number of artificial ponds extant using their developed ethno-geographical knowledge of the thawing water stream. Thus, even under the recent precipitation increase, not all participants mentioned the observed climate trends, while the memory of drought persisted within and influenced community perceptions.
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