The wildfire research experiments named Frostfire (Alaska) and Icefire (Siberia) were safely and successfully completed in the summer of 1999 and 2001. The research group from Japan was based in Hokkaido University (M. Fukuda).
Extensive pre-burn surveys throughout the watersheds and extensive instrumentation installed before the fire enabled us to collect data before, during, and after the burn. The three-year (1999-2001) research projects have highlighted the impact of fire on the permafrost and the dynamics of the physical properties after the fire. Many of these results were presented in the 2000 American Geophysical Union fall meeting and at the 2001 Russia/Japan joint symposium for climatic warming in Sapporo.
The Yukon energy and water exchange research group (YuWEX Leader: N. Ishikawa) has studied in the Caribou Poker Creeks Research Watershed, Alaska since 1997 in cooperation with L. Hinzman and K. Yoshikawa. They have performed a variety of field observations and measurements in the watershed including soil moisture content, soil temperature, evaporation, humidity, air temperature, CO2 flux, stream temperature, geophysical exploration, groundwater level, groundwater temperature in the talik, and snow depth.
Surface energy balance studies were conducted in Kevo, Finland (Nagaoka Institute of Snow and Ice Studies, National Research Institute for Earth Science and Disaster Prevention (NIED) group (leader: A. Sato and T.Sato in cooperation with S. Neuvonen)), Tiksi (GAME: Y.Kodama) and CPCRW (YuWeX, NIED group; leader: A. Sato and T.Sato in cooperation with S. Neuvonen); Tiksi (GAME: Y.Kodama); and CPCRW (YuWeX, NIED). All of these sites have a meteorological observation tower with ground temperature and soil moisture sensors in the active layer.
The Mountain Permafrost Research Group in the Association of Japanese Geographers continued studies on permafrost distribution, rock glacier characteristics and periglacial processes in the Japanese mountains including Hokkaido (M. Ishikawa, Y. Sawada, T. Sone and K. Hirakawa), northern Japanese Alps (K. Fukui, M. Aoyama and S. Iwata), southern Japanese Alps and Fuji volcano (A. Ikeda and N. Matsuoka). The four-year (1998-2002) research projects have highlighted several types of permafrost distribution in the Japanese mountains, which are controlled by landforms, snow distribution and depth, geothermal activity and surface materials. Since 1994, members of the research group have also conducted an overseas project on permafrost and periglacial processes in the Swiss Alps in cooperation with W. Haeberli, A. Kääb and F. Keller. The topics in the last two years included dynamics of small pebbly rock glaciers, differential frost heaving on sorted patterned ground and Holocene environmental change on mountain slopes. Many of these results were presented in the 1st European Permafrost Conference in Rome (March 2001) and at the 5th International Conference on Geomorphology in Tokyo (August 2001).