Research activities included those at the Abisko Research Station, CALM–related observations, and other university projects dealing with permafrost and periglacial environments in the alpine, Arctic and Antarctica.
Lund University: The Department of Physical Geography and Ecosystems Analysis, has undergone a reorganisation and has merged with two research groups from the Department. of Ecology. Together with geology, a new Geobiosphere Centre has been created that now occupies new departmental buildings.
In September 2003 a new CALM-grid monitoring programme was established by Torbjörn Johansson at the Stordalen mire (68°20'N, 19°02'E) in the vicinity of the Abisko Research Station (ARS), northern Sweden. The first measurements were obtained together with Jonas Åkerman. Basic parameters of soil and air temperatures, radiation, precipitation, water table position and soil moisture are monitored during the year at different sub-sites on the mire. In cooperation with the ARS, Åkerman continued the annual, long-term (1978 to present) observations at the 10 CALM sites along the 100-km east-west transect. By extending the existing long-term monitoring programme to the Stordalen mire we now cover the mire in the region that has been most closely investigated since the IBP programme of the 1970s. Recent studies using aerial photography show large-scale changes during the last decades in the mires with underlying permafrost.
Due to financial limitations, the standard active-layer monitoring in the Kapp Linne area, Svalbard, started in 1972, were not obtained in 2003. Future cooperation with UNIS or other partners may result in the continuation of the programme. However, Åkerman is still maintaining a limited monitoring programme of active periglacial processes and their climatic significance in the Kapp Linne’ area, Svalbard.
Uppsala University: Phil Wookey, Else Kolstrup and Göran Possnert continue a previously announced project on soil organic matter in high latitude soil. A project on the response of the forest-tundra ecotone to environmental change (DART: www.durham.ac.uk/DART) has so far resulted in a doctoral thesis by Sofie Sjögersten. Developing DART further, Wookey is Senior Visiting Scientist in a new U.K. NERC-funded project entitled “Snow in Tundra Ecosystems: Patterns, Processes and Scaling” (STEPPS, coordinated by Robert Baxter: http://www.dur.ac.uk/stepps. project/). Jan Boelhouwers has initiated a project on environmental controls on solifluction and frost heave processes in the Abisko area and continues his previously reported activities. A 2003 project headed by Else Kolstrup on boundary constraints of periglacial phenomena in Scandinavia has resulted in a doctoral thesis on palsas by Frieda Zuidhoff. Also, a “stone growth” project is being continued by Else Kolstrup, who also investigates relict periglacial phenomena. Visiting scientist Achim A. Beylich continues projects on sediment budgets in Iceland and Lapland (see German report, p.24).
University of Karlstad: Rolf Nyberg, Department of Earth Sciences, is conducting several projects in the Abisko area on the dynamics of the Kårsa glacier, permafrost and slope processes in the Pallenvagge and Nissunvagge valleys, and the assessment of the importance of extreme erosional events as geomorphological hazards and as climatic indicators.
Stockholm University: The Department of Physical Geography and Quaternary Geology announced the appointment of Peter Kuhry to the position of Professor in Physical Geography. Recruitment for a two-year post doctoral position within the field of Arctic Palaeoclimatology and/or Permafrost studies was also announced.