The research project of the Committee for Scientific Research entitled: «Structure, Evolution and Dynamics of Lithosphere, Cryosphere and Biosphere in the European Sector in the Arctic and in the Antarctic» (PBZKBN- 108/P04 /2004) continued in 2006. This project is based on the interdisciplinary research, partly in connection with the IPY and coordinated by international collaboration. One of the main research topics is the response of continental cryosphere (glaciers and permafrost) to global climate change.

In the summer of 2006, research was carried on Spitsbergen (Svalbard Archipelago) in the following regions: from the Polish Polar Station in Hornsund in the region adjacent to Isbjornhamna (SW part of Wedel Jarlsberg Land); from the base of Maria Curie-Sklodowska University in Lublin, in the area south of Recherche Fiord (NW part of Wedel Land), Bellsund, Calypsostranda; the station of Nicolas Copernicus University in Torun, in the Kaffiøyra coastal plain (Oscar II Land), in the field area of Adam Mickiewicz University (Poznan), in the region Billefjorden (Petuniabukta). In these areas, measurements of permafrost thickness and active layer dynamics were carried out within the CALM II program, and periglacial slope dynamics are investigated. Monitoring of mass balance is continued on selected glaciers.

Climate change and its effect on natural environment in polar and subpolar regions became recently such a concern from both scientific and utilitarian points of view that a conference was organized on that theme by researchers from the Department of Meteorology and Nautical Oceanography, Faculty of Navigation, Gdynia Maritime University, under the supervision of A.A. Marsz and A. Styszynska. This Conference on «Changes of climate in the Arctic and the Antarctic during the last 50-year period and their environmental implications» was held on May 11-13 in Gdynia. Presentations were made in the fields of meteorology, climatology, geomorphology, glaciology, cartography, oceanography and biology by scientists from Polish universities and research institutions working in the Arctic and the Antarctic. Most papers dealt with climate change through meteorological and climatological data. Much attention was paid to sea ice cover changes, whose dynamics can be inferred from the analysis of satellite imagery, to the characteristics and extent of contemporary glacier cover changes in the Arctic and the Antarctic, as well as to the symptoms of permafrost reaction to climate change. Other papers tackled changes in marine and continental geo- and ecosystems of the Arctic and the Antarctic. The papers will be published by the Maritime University in Gdynia Publishing House.

Kazimierz Pekala (geomorf@biotop.umcs.lublin.pl)