Beginning in summer 1992, Japan and Russia will undertake joint permafrost studies. The program described below had its start in spring 1990 when the cities of Sapporo and Novosibirsk established sister city relations. Both cities agreed to support scientific exchange programs among institutes located in each city. The Siberian Branch of the Academy of Sciences in Novosibirsk asked the Permafrost Institute in Yakutsk to develop a joint scientific exchange program with the Institute of Low Temperature Science (ILTS) in Sapporo. Dr. Kamensky, Director, Permafrost Institute, and Professor Fukuda exchanged proposals. In November 1990, Professors Fukuda and Yoshida visited both the Permafrost Institute and Biological Institute in Yakutsk. Agreement was reached to start preparations for a joint exchange program related to physical and biological aspects of permafrost. In May 1991, Dr. Kamensky and Dr. Balobaev visited Sapporo to complete the proposals for the exchange. During the Sapporo meetings, scientists from the Center for Global Environmental Research of the National Institute of Environmental Research in Tsukuba discussed joint studies on the monitoring of methane emissions from permafrost areas. The following resulted from these discussions and will take place in summer 1992.
1) Permafrost Group: Institute of Low Temperature Science (ILTS) and the Permafrost Institute.
Main objective: Permafrost occurrence and genesis related to climatic changes; permafrost changes influenced by recent global warming trends of climate.
Main areas of survey: Lena River delta near Tiksi and Yenisey River area near Igaruga.
2) Biology Group: ILTS and Biological Institute.
Main objective: Biogeography, populations and community ecology of plants and insects in Siberian permafrost region.
Main areas of survey: Upper, middle and lower reaches of Lena River.
3) Forest Research Group: Forest Research Institute (FRI, Sapporo) and Biological Institute.
Main objective: Carbon storage and carbon dioxide budget in permafrost regions of Siberian forest ecosystems.
Main areas of survey: Taiga region near Yakutsk
4) Geochemistry Group: Department of Sanitation and Environmental Engineering (DSEE), Hokkaido University; Geochemistry Laboratory, Permafrost Institute; and Department of Cryolithology andGlaciology, Moscow State University.
Main objectives: Monitoring of atmospheric aerosols and emissions of methane from taiga.
Main areas of survey: Near Tiksi and Yakutsk.
(5) Atmospheric Methane Monitoring Group: Center for Global Environmental Research (CGER) (Tsukuba) and the Permafrost Institute.
Main objective: Monitoring of atmospheric methane concentration.
Main areas of surveys: Near Tiksi and Yakutsk. The program is planned for three years.
A group of specialists will meet in Japan in winter 1992-93 for further analyses and discussions of the investigations. An international symposium is planned to be held in either Yakutsk or Sapporo in 1995. Other Japanese participants involved are S. Yoshida (ILTS), N. Takahazhi (Botanical Gardens, FRI), S. Ohta (DSEE), and G. Imone (CGER). Further information on the joint program can be obtained from Professor Fukuda.
Prepared by Masami Fukuda, Hokkaido University