The International Permafrost Association is awarded a grant from the International Council for Science (ICSU) to launch its MicroPerm project.
ICSU announced on March 15th, 2010 that the MicroPerm project, which stands for “circumpolar integration of permafrost microbiological studies” is the successful recipient of a 2010 ICSU grant. The project, led by Dr. Dirk Wagner, at the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research in Potsdam, Germany, is the first of its kind, in that it will bring together all investigations related to permafrost microbiology to assess its relation to climate.
Permafrost microbiology focuses on the life and activity of microbes in frozen ground, which underlains 24% of the land mass in the northern hemisphere. Microbial activity is the primary process involved in the conversion of carbon stored in permafrost, which is thought to bear twice as much carbon as in the atmosphere, into carbon dioxide and methane.
The resilience of microbes in permafrost and their reaction to climate is well understood at the local scale, yet “the integration of permafrost microbiological studies at the circumpolar scale would be a great leap forward to understand the reaction of microbes and in particular of methane-producing bacteria to climate” says Dr. Wagner.
The MicroPerm project will take off in June 2010 at the Third European Conference on Permafrost and will culminate in autumn 2010 with the organisation of a workshop in October in Potsdam, Germany
The MicroPerm project has been submitted to ICSU by the International Union of Geological Sciences (IUGS), to which the International Permafrost Association is an affiliate. It is supported by the International Arctic Science Committee (IASC), the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR), the International Union of Geodesy and Geology (IUGG) and the International Union for Quaternary Science (INQUA).

International Permafrost Association (IPA): http://ipa-permafrost.org
Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research (AWI): http://www.awi.de
International Union of Geological Sciences (IUGS): http://www.iugs.org
International Arctic Science Committee (IASC): http://www.iasc.info
Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR): http://www.scar.org
International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics (IUGG): http://www.iugg.org
International Union for Quaternary Research (INQUA): http://www.inqua.tcd.ie