The Danish contribution for 2009 concentrates on on-going permafrost research presented on the NUUK CLIMATE DAYS 25.-27. August 2009 being a scientific activity related to COP15 – UN climate change conference in Copenhagen. It attracted 145 participants from 16 nations with contributions related to “Changes in the Greenland Cryosphere”.

Mr K. Kleist, prime minister of Greenland, welcomed the Conference. Key note talk was given by Director K. Erb (US National Science Foundation): “Greenland research: Key to global climate research”. A permafrost overview was presented by Professor V. Romanovsky (University of Alaska Fairbanks – UAF): “State and fate of permafrost in the northern hemisphere”.  Local climate monitoring was covered by Dr K. H. Svendsen (ASIAQ): “Greenland Survey, ASIAQ, a potential partner in climate change investigations” and by Professor S. Rysgaard (Greenland Climate Research Centre) with examples of long term climate monitoring programs from the research stations at Zackenberg and Nuuk .

On-going permafrost projects covered a half day seminar on “Permafrost and terrestrial hydrology changes” chaired by Professor V. Romanovsky. A series of contributions were presented related to the US NSF supported permafrost project ARC-0612533: “Recent and future permafrost variability, retreat and degradation in Greenland and Alaska – An integrated approach” carried out in co-operation between University of Alaska Fairbanks, Danish Meteorological Institute (DMI), Greenland Survey (ASIAQ) and the Technical University of Denmark ( DTU-BYG and ARTEK).

Initially, Dr M. Stendel with coworkers from DMI: J. Hesselbjerg Christensen and G. Adalsgeirsdottir and from UAF: R. Daanen, S. Marchenko and V.Romanovsky presented: “The fate of permafrost in Greenland and Alaska: Results from high-resolution transient climate simulations”.  T. Ingeman-Nielsen and N. Foged (ARTEK / DTU-BYG) continued with “Permafrost temperature reanalysis and model projections for Ilulissat, West Greenland”. Afterwards N. Foged with coworkers T. Ingeman-Nielsen and I. Brandt (ASIAQ / DTU-BYG) and K. H. Svendsen (ASIAQ) presented: “Permafrost Risk Zonation in West Greenland” which aims to present recommendations for adaption to the climate change based on  risk mapping vulnerability in towns and their surroundings  with suggested technical solutions for foundations, roads and other infrastructures. This part of the seminar was closed by PhD-student I. Brandt and co-authors on “Evidence of sporadic permafrost at the Qinngorput infrastructural development site in Nuuk, West Greenland”.

The permafrost session continued with a contribution on “Permafrost and Ecosystem Carbon Stocks in northeast Greenland” given by primary authors K. M. Iversen from ASIAQ , M. P. Tamstorf from NERI, University of Aarhus and B. U. Hansen from IGG, University of Copenhagen together with co-authors from IGG, University of Copenhagen; C. Sigsgaard, B. Elberling and T. Friborg.

Dr D. Yang (CLIC Project Office and University of Alaska Fairbanks) with coauthors K. Steffen (CIRES, University of Colorado), T. Worby (Australian Antarctic Division and ACE CRC) and V. Ryabinin (World Climate Research Programme) gave an Update on Climate and Cryosphere (CLIC)  Project and its relation to the International Polar Year 2007 - 2008. Furthermore, D. Yang together with B. Ye (CAREERI, Lanzhou, China) and D. Kane (UAF) presented “Permafrost impact on streamflow regime over the large northern watersheds”.

In 2009 Greenland Climate Research Centre in Nuuk has been established in Nuuk and is headed by Professor S. Rysgaard.
The Arctic Technology Centre ARTEK situated at Sanaartornermik Ilinniarfik in Sisimiut and at DTU-BYG in Lyngby has continued its research, innovation and education in Arctic Engineering.  Until now 20 students have finalized with a degree in Arctic Engineering and the number of new students has reached 16 to 18 per year. A. Stuhr Jørgensen finalized in March his PhD-study “Assessment of three mitigation techniques for permafrost protection” and is now developing the research and education in road engineering in Danmark as well as Greenland. I. Brandt finalized a Master in Arctic Engineering on geophysical investigations for permafrost at the Thule Airbase and is now industrial PHD-student (ASIAQ and DTU-BYG) on “Integrated Geoscence Study of Extend and Effects of Permafrost Change in Greenland”.

The Danish IPA adhering body SAFT – Society of Arctic Research and Technology – has continued its cross-disciplinary outreach activities and support to MSc and PhD-students in Greenland and the Arctic. SAFT maintains through Secretary S. Hanson (sha@spacecenter.dk) contact with Permafrost Young Research Network (PYRN).

Niels Foged (nf@byg.dtu.dk)