Potsdam, Germany, 24 June 2016 (11th ICOP)

The Resolutions of the IPA Council at the Eleventh International Conference on Permafrost held at Potsdam, 20-24 June 2016 are as follows:

First,

  • Considering the growing recognition and diverse impact of permafrost on global society and climate; and
  • Considering the impact of permafrost on those who live or work in polar and high mountain regions; and
  • Considering the need to adapt engineering infrastructure to changes in the permafrost environment; and
  • Considering it imperative to coordinate and integrate knowledge of the carbon cycle and other biogeochemical cycles in permafrost regions; and
  • Recognizing that solutions to scientific questions and engineering challenges associated with permafrost require interdisciplinary teams and international collaboration; and
  • Reaffirming the importance of involving members of the Permafrost Young Researchers Network (PYRN) in all of its activities,

it is resolved that over the next four years, through its collaborations with other organizations and its own Action Groups, Interest Groups, and Standing Committees, including PYRN and the Global Terrestrial Network for Permafrost (GTN-P), the International Permafrost Association will:

  • Improve representation of perennially frozen ground in earth-system modelling using GTN-P products, permafrost maps, and new technologies;
  • Improve understanding of hydrology, ground-ice characteristics, and permafrost-related processes associated with the vulnerability of infrastructure, ecosystems, and land use in permafrost areas, and knowledge of hazards in these environments;
  • Empower citizens concerned with the changing permafrost environment by developing education and outreach products and projects for schools, universities, professionals, and civil society.

Salekhard, Russia, 29 June 2012 (10th ICOP)

IPA resolutions preamble

  • Considering the growing recognition of the significance of permafrost to the global climate systems
  • Considering the significance of permafrost in the understanding of Earth surface processes
  • Considering the risk to human societies of progressive permafrost thaw resulting in greenhouse gas release to the atmosphere
  • Considering the impact of permafrost on those who live or work in polar and high mountain areas
  • Considering the need to adapt engineering infrastructure in permafrost regions to a changing climate
  • Recognizing that solutions to scientific questions and engineering challenges associated with permafrost increasingly require interdisciplinary teams and international collaboration
  • Reaffirming the importance of involving members of the Permafrost Young Researchers Network (PYRN) in all of its activities

IPA resolutions

It is resolved that over the next four years, through its collaborations with other organizations and its own Action Groups, Interest Groups and Standing Committees, as well as PYRN and the Global Terrestrial Network for Permafrost, the International Permafrost Association will:

  • Encourage and assist the climate modeling community in improving the representation of perennially frozen ground in Global Climate Models;
  • Promote the study of the carbon cycle and other biogeochemical cycles in permafrost regions that contribute to atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations; 
  • Develop new innovative and accurate maps of permafrost for use by multiple audiences;
  • Encourage permafrost studies in regions where little is known regarding its occurrence, its degradation and the resulting dynamics and hazards;
  • Develop education and outreach products and projects on permafrost for schools, universities and the general public

FAIRBANKS, ALASKA, 3 JULY 2008 (9th ICOP)

RESOLUTION 1: ACTIVITIES THAT CONTRIBUTE TO INTERNATIONAL PROGRAMS

The IPA resolves to continue coordination of pre-IPY and IPY observing programs related to active layer (CALM), thermal state of permafrost (TSP), coastal erosion (ACD/ACCO-Net), and carbon stocks (CAPP).

  • IPA resolves to seek the establishment of a permanent network of permafrost observatories in cooperation with all appropriate national and international programs.
  • IPA resolves to coordinate activities to produce an electronically accessible “snapshot” of IPY permafrost data and other available information according to the schedule proposed by the Standing Committee on Data Information and Communication.
  • IPA, through its Working Parties or Executive Committee, resolves to continue collaboration with other appropriate international organizations.
  • IPA, through individuals and national adhering bodies, resolves to provide input to climate assessments such as IPCC, ACIA and SWIPA.

RESOLUTION 2. ORGANIZATIONAL RESOLUTIONS

Be it resolved that IPA Working Parties (Working Groups, Task Forces and Standing Committees) develop short-term, achievable objectives and that progress be reviewed biannually at regional or ICOP conferences. Furthermore special attention be devoted to needs and advances in remote sensing, subglacial permafrost, modeling, geophysical techniques, and regional mapping.
Recognizing the IPA commitment to the development of the next generation of researchers, both scientist and engineers, be it resolved that the Permafrost Young Researchers Network (PYRN) be formally recognized as an official organization within the IPA (an adhering network), having permanent observer status at IPA Council meetings.
Be it resolved that wherever possible, Adhering Bodies, encourage collaboration between scientific and engineering activities and organizations.

ZURICH, SWITZERLAND, 25 JULY 2003 (8th ICOP)

RESOLUTION 1: PLANNING AND IMPLEMENTING ACTIVITIES THAT CONTRIBUTE TO INTERNATIONAL PROGRAMS

Recognising the inter- and multi-disciplinary nature of permafrost science and engineering and its representation in many diverse bodies, scientific unions, associations, and professional societies with related interests, the International Permafrost Association resolves to endorse and participate in the continuation of existing collaboration and the establishment of new joint programs including, but not limited to:

  • Continuation and expansion of the IPA-coordinated, GCOS/GTOS Global Terrestrial Network-Permafrost (GTN-P) monitoring programme including CALM, PACE, and other networks (see Yellowknife Resolution 1, 1998);
  • Planning and implementation of the WCRP Climate and Cryosphere (CliC) Project Area on Terrestrial Cryosphere, and other WCRP related projects (GEWEX, CLIVAR);
  • Developing a joint project with ICSI on ice–permafrost interactions;
  • Planning and participation in the Fourth International Polar Year (IPY4 2007/8) and other related programs including the IUGS Planet Earth project (2004/7);
  • Planning and implementation of an Antarctic Permafrost and Periglacial Working Group and the development of a programme in cooperation with SCAR (see Yellowknife Resolution 2, 1998);
  • Coordination of a planetary permafrost activity and development of a Working Group with interests on both biological and physical processes;
  • Participation in international planning conferences including the IASC organised Second International Conference on Arctic Research Planning (ICARP II/2005); impact assessments (IPCC, ACIA); and symposia such as the Northern Research Basins (NRB);
  • Development of a new IGU/IPA agreement for an IGU Commission related to cold regions processes;
  • Contributions to the planning and implementation of relevant IGBP projects and activities such as the Mountain Research Initiative and LOICZ, as well as the Earth System Science Partnership project on Global Carbon, among other programs; and
  • Participation in relevant national and regional programs such as SEARCH, CRYSYS, and existing and new national committees that address cryology (National CliC Committees in China , Japan , Russia , etc.).

RESOLUTION 2: COORDINATION OF ACTIVITIES RELATED TO PERMAFROST RESPONSES TO CLIMATE CHANGES

Recognising that responses to climate are complex and multiple-dimensional in both time and space, and that currently many of these complex problems are approached at various scales and levels of resolution by individuals and small teams of experts, be it resolved that the IPA Working Parties consider several key problems that include, but are not limited to:

  • Examination of the development of a unified approach to the definition of permafrost and delineation of permafrost boundaries at various spatial resolutions and scales (for past, present, and future climate scenarios);
  • Inter-comparison of regional and global models and development of models for diverse environmental conditions.
  • Mapping of existing permafrost and ground-ice conditions and monitoring of changes at regional and continental scales (including mountains);
  • Assessing responses of permafrost processes (including coastal, slope, geomorphic) to changes in environmental forcing;
  • Assessing responses of infrastructures to changing permafrost regimes; and
  • Continued development of the Global Geocryological Database (GGD) and updating of metadata and archives related to permafrost-climate investigations.

Furthermore, accomplishments resulting from these resolutions be reported periodically at appropriate scientific and engineering meetings and at the 9th International Conference on Permafrost, in Fairbanks , Alaska , June 2008.

YELLOWKNIFE, 26 JUNE 1998

RESOLUTION 1: Monitoring of Active Layer and Permafrost Thermal State

Recognizing the increasing concern of the World Climate Research Programme and GCOS/GTOS Terrestrial Observing Panel for Climate (TOPC) to identify functional networks for permafrost monitoring (GCOS Report No. 32, 1997: GCOS/GTOS Plan for Terrestrial Climate-Related Observations, p. 19–20, 76–77), The International Permafrost Association resolves:

  • to undertake coordination and collection of annual active layer depth and permafrost temperatures; and
  • to ensure their timely reporting on the IPA Web site and the annual transfer of these data to WDC-A for Glaciology.

Furthermore, through the IPA Executive Committee, the IPA and its relevant Working Groups will address the following issues:

  • assigning CALM, PACE and other representative monitoring sites to the GCOS/GTOS tier structure;
  • assessing the representation of various permafrost climatic regimes in the network and identifying any gaps in coverage;
  • evaluating options for filling any gaps in the network;
  • formalizing organizational arrangements within the IPA/CALM structure; and
  • finalizing the strategy and guideline documents to enable the preparation of invitation letters to the World Meteorological Organization representatives of the participating countries.

RESOLUTION 2: Antarctic Permafrost Monitoring and Research

Recognizing that the Antarctic continent serves as a rich archive and laboratory for paleoenvironmental information and present-day environmental processes; the fact that there is no systematic program for monitoring recent changes in the thermal history of the permafrost or active layer properties in the ice-free areas; and the growing requirements to coordinate with similar monitoring programs in the Northern Hemisphere and elsewhere in the Southern Hemisphere (see Resolution 1), the International Permafrost Association resolves:

  • to encourage the establishment of a circum-Antarctic Permafrost Monitoring Network and related periglacial research activities;

and furthermore recommends:

  • that the newly formed IPA Working Group on Southern Hemisphere Permafrost serve as the formal link with SCAR.