1998

In The Netherlands most work on permafrost is focused on establishing relationships between permafrost development and climatic conditions and on the impact of permafrost on river dynamics. Work in present-day permafrost regions is relatively limited: Greenland (Utrecht University, University of Amsterdam), Russia (TUNDRA project in Pechora basin: VU Amsterdam, Utrecht U.), Russia (Taimyr, Nature Management Affairs), Svalbard (Groningen University).
Much attention has been paid in the last five years to the reconstruction of past permafrost in western and central Europe during several episodes of the last glacial period and the related climatic conditions (VU Amsterdam). Several Ph.D. theses and many scientific papers appeared on the subject of palaeo-periglacial river dynamics.

Jef Vandenberghe (vanj@geo.vu.nl)

The British National Adhering Body of IPA held a two-day Periglacial Workshop on 16 and 17 December 1997 at the University of Cardiff. The meeting was organized by Charles Harris and Julian Murton in association with the IPA Working Group on Periglacial Processes and Environments, the IGU Commission on Climate Change and Periglacial Environments, and the Cryostratigraphic Research Group of the Quaternary Research Association.
The first day focused on cryostratigraphy, with keynote papers by Hugh French on cryostratigraphic methods, Jef Vandenberghe on climate change and periglacial environments, and Julian Murton on the cryostratigraphy and dating of thermokarst lake deposits in the Pleistocene Mackenzie Delta, N.W.T., Canada. Presentations were also given by Matti Seppälä (Helsinki), Stephen Gurney (Reading), Steve Boreham (Cambridge), M.K. Bateman (Sheffield), Hanne Christiansen (Copenhagen), Colin Ballantyne (St. Andrews), Andrew Rochelle (Wolverhampton), Brigitte Van Vliet-Lanoe (Lille), Hideki Miura (Tokyo), Charles Harris (Cardiff) and Julian Murton (Sussex).

Completion of the CD-ROM Circumpolar Active-Layer Permafrost System (CAPS) by the staff of the National Snow and Ice Data Center was a major activity during 1998. Members of a small international Working Group met for several weeks in Boulder during February and March to prepare the final documentation. The group included Julia Branson and Mike Clark (U.K.), Marina Leibman (Russia), Jerry Brown (U.S.) and from NSIDC, Chris Haggerty, Claire Hanson, Ann Brennan and Roger Barry. Following demonstration of the prototype CD at Yellowknife over 350 disks were mailed to the Conference attendees and contributors to the CD (see inside back cover for more details). The CD was presented at the 17th Polar Libraries Colloquy in Reykjavik, Iceland, in September.
Several new National Science Foundation Arctic programs began in 1998: Arctic Transitions in the Land–Atmosphere System (ATLAS) and the Russian–American Initiative on Shelf–Land Environments in the Arctic (RAISE). The first set of RAISE proposals is under review.