European members of the International Permafrost Association have recently submitted a three-year research proposal to the European Union under its Fourth Framework Environment and Climate Program. The project is entitled High Mountain Slope Instability Associated with Permafrost Degradation Due to Climate Change: Monitoring, Modeling and Hazard Assessment. As the title implies, we propose to monitor mountain permafrost temperatures and slope instability associated with permafrost degradation, and undertake numerical and physical modelling in order to provide a new process-based approach to mountain slope hazard assessment in the context of dimate change.

Objectives of the program are: 1) to establish a framework for monitoring the impact of global climate change in the high mountains of Europe, particularly in relation to the stability of mountain permafrost, and 2) to provide a new process-based method for mountain landslide hazard assessment in the context of changing climate and permafrost degradation.
Coordinator of the proposal is Charles Harris (Cardiff, UK) and partners indude Dietrich Barsch (Heidelberg, Germany), Lorenz King (Geissen, Germany), Wilfried Haeberli (ETH Zurich, Switzerland), Francesco Dramis (Rome, Italy), Jonas kerman (Lund, Sweden), Johan Ludvig Sollid (Oslo, Norway) and David Palacios (Madrid, Spain). Field sites will be located in the Pyrenees, the Alps and the mountains of Scandinavia, including Spitsbergen.
Future plans and results of the program, including involvement of the Global Geocryological Database node at the GeoData Institute, University of Southampton, will be presented in future issues of Frozen Ground.


Submitted by Charles Harris