For the first time a course on geocryology in South America: ‘Periglacial Phenomena, Determination and Application’ was held thanks to support of the Foundation ‘Miguel Lillo’ and the National University of Tucumán, NW Argentina. It was a one week postgraduate course, held in the month of June in San Miguel de Tucumán, by Dr. Dario Trombotto and Dr. Ana-Lía Ahumada with participants from different parts of Argentina.

This report highlights a number of current Canadian permafrost activities. The last two years have seen an increase in permafrost research activities in Canada, in part attributable to a new federal programme for science, impact and adaptation research related to climate change. This new Climate Change Action Fund programme is supporting a number of projects with strong partnerships between government, academia and the private sector. A few of these projects are described below.

The three former geo-science institutes of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) at Lanzhou, i.e., Lanzhou Institute of Glaciology and Geocryology, Lanzhou Institute of Desert, and Lanzhou Institute of Plateau Atmospheric Science, have been reorganised into a new institute in June, 1999, which is called the Cold and Arid Regions Environmental and Engineering Research Institute (CAREERI), CAS.

Investigations on bedrock weathering rates and rock glacier dynamics were continued on Disko Island (70ºN), central West Greenland, by Ole Humlum, University of Copenhagen and the University Courses on Svalbard (UNIS). At sea level MAAT is about -6ºC, and most of the study sites are within the zone of continuous permafrost.

The Bundesanstalt für Geowissenschaften und Rohstoffe (BGR), Hannover, and the Centre d’études nordiques, Universite Laval, Quebec, have started a joint-project to investigate the development of permafrost in emerged marine sediments east of Umiujaq, Nunavik, near the eastern shore of Hudson Bay (see also report by Canada). Six holes were drilled into a mineral palsa and geophysical equipment installed tomonitor the temperature field and water pressures at the palsa base for at least one year. The intention is to develop a fully consistent numerical model capable of simulating the full cycle of palsa growth and decay based on the observations. The area under investigation is considered as a modern analogue to conditions that prevailed during the last marine regression from the Laptev Sea shelf of Siberia.

The activity of the Italian IPA group by F. Dramis has focussed on two main topics that reflect the main financial resources for the scientific activities: a) Antarctic Research; b) the Italian activities within PACE.

The Kazakhstan Alpine Permafrost Laboratory continued monitoring of the thermal regime of permafrost, seasonally frozen ground and dynamics of solifluction processes, kurums and rock glaciers in the Northern Tien Shan near Almaty.

The Permafrost Laboratory of the Institute of Geography of the Mongolian Academy of Sciences prepared in 2000 a publication concerning seasonal freezing and thawing of ground in Mongolia. Also a preliminary map of Mongolia at a scale of 1:1,500,000, and a map of seasonal freezing and thawing are being compiled.

During the 1999/2000 summer, several New Zealand permafrost-related programs were undertaken in the Ross Sea region of Antarctica: Jackie Aislabie (Landcare) is leading an ongoing programme into the effects of hydrocarbons on soil properties in the Ross Sea Region of Antarctica.

Department of Physical Geography, University of Oslo (http://www.geografi.uio.no/) has continued its activities within the EU-PACE project. Further geophysical studies were carried out around the PACE borehole site at Juvvasshøe (61º 41' N, 8º 22' E, 1894 m asl.) in Jotunheimen, southern Norway, and in the Dovrefjell area.