The Society of Arctic Technology (SAT) arranged meetings with Danish and Greenlandic and foreign experts related to technologies adapted to the special climatic, geological and social relations in Polar Regions. In 2004- 2005 climate change and permafrost was addressed at a number of meetings. SAT is the national contact for Denmark to the IPA.
A pilot project «Permafrost degradation and infrastructural consequences in West Greenland» was initiated in 2004 by the Danish Meteorological Institute (DMI represented by Jens H. Christensen), the Danish Technical University, Center for Arctic Technology (ARTEK-DTU, Niels Foged) and the Greenland Survey (ASIAQ, Keld H. Svendsen) and is partly supported by KVUG (The Commission for Scientific Investigations in Greenland). Climate models are predicting a pronounced increase in air temperatures along the coasts of Greenland due to global warming. Here in towns like Sisimiut and Ilulissat, located in discontinuous permafrost areas, the subsurface will respond with a degradation of permafrost affecting conditions for town planning and foundation of existing and future buildings, roads, sewers, etc. The project is presently being extended to cover «Recent and future permafrost variability, retreat and degradation in Greenland and Alaska» in an integrated approach together with the University of Alaska Fairbanks (Vladimir Romanovsky and John Walsh).
The University of Copenhagen, Institute of Geography, maintains two automatic meteorological stations on the west coast of Disko Island (Greenland): one close to the Arctic Station (Godhavn), the other in Mellemfjord. Meteorological data are available since 1998 from: http:/ /www.nat.ku.dk/as/ny_homepage/engelskudgave/ framesetuk/as_mainuk.htm.
The National Environmental Research Institute, the Danish Polar Center and the Institute of Geography, University of Copenhagen are continuing their detailed monitoring at Zackenberg Ecological Research Station in high Arctic Northeast Greenland. This database is dedicated to snow, permafrost, soil temperatures in the active layer, soil water and carbon dioxide content, etc. Data are available at Geobasis, Zackenberg for the period 1995- 2004: http://www.dmu.dk/International/Arctic/ Climate+change/ZackenbergDB.
The Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland (GEUS) carried out permafrost studies in the Mestervig area of East Greenland.
Studies of the ice cores from the Greenlandic Ice Sheet (Dorte Dahl Jensen) were carried out within various international research programmes. Information is available at: http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/paleo/icecore/greenland.
«Snow and temperature control of biogeochemical oxidation processes in natural and managed High Arctic ecosystems» is a research project funded by the Danish Natural Science Research Council (2004-2006), led by Bo Elberling, Institute of Geography, University of Copenhagen. The project focuses on management of heat generating coal mining waste and dispersal of contaminants in a permafrost area near Longyearbyen, Svalbard. This project runs in co-operation with UNIS and the local coal company, Store Norske.
In 2005 preparations for the International Polar Year (IPY) were very much in focus. The Danish National Committee consists of 15 members from all relevant polar research areas in Denmark, the Faroe Islands and Greenland. It has recommended focusing on the following three themes: 1) Arctic Climate – variability, changes and effects, 2) Greenland Inland Ice – a key to knowledge and 3) People, Nature and Arctic Societies. Permafrost topics will be covered by several projects in the first theme.
Niels Foged (firstname.lastname@example.org)