Over the past 20 years, the Department of Physical Geography, Lund University, acted informally as the Adhering Body to IPA, and was assisted in recent years by the Abisko Research Station (ANS) and the Swedish Academy of Sciences.
In May 2004 the South Swedish Geographical Society (SSGS) formally agreed to act as the National Adhering Body to the IPA, and to provide the annual contribution to IPA and travel costs to IPA meetings for the Council member. The SSGS is a long-standing permanent NGO with board members from the public, the regional administration and Lund University. Under the South Swedish Geographical Society a small national committee “for permafrost and periglacial studies” with participants from the Swedish Academy of Sciences /ANS, and the major universities will be formed. A major Nordic geographical conference in May 2005 (www.ngm.cc/) will be the venue for the first meeting of the new committee. The national committee will elect the Swedish Council member and through its chairman/secretary will conduct the IPA business. The SSGS produces the Swedish Geographical Yearbook (Svensk Geografisk Årsbok). The next issue has the theme “Effects of Climatic Change in Nature and Society” with Jonas Akerman as editor.
Torbjörn Johansson, Jonas Åkerman and Torben R. Christensen (GeoBiosphere Science Centre, Lund University) and Patrick Crill (Stockholm University) report the following for the Abisko site in northern Sweden. During 2004 the CALM grid at Stordalen and surrounding mire has been intensively surveyed using real time kinematic (RTK) GPS technique with an accuracy of +/- 2 cm in height (+/- 2 ppm, distance related noise) and +/- 1 cm in x and y wise (+/- 1 ppm). A total of approximately 10,000 points were surveyed over the whole mire (ca. 16 ha). We have now created opportunities to follow the permafrost degradation and thermokarst features change on the site at a centimetre scale (point). The general resolution is approximately 10 meters. The microtopography data is used in a carbon flux perspective to quantify “hot spots” on the mire. During the summer months vegetation mapping within the CALM grid has been completed. Implications of already observed changes for CH4 emissions for thawing permafrost at the landscape scale were published. A PhD studentship on permafrost dynamics and its implications for biodiversity and ecosystem functioning has been announced and will commence in January 2005.
Peter Kuhry, at the University of Stockholm (peter. firstname.lastname@example.org) since 2003, reports on his previous work at the Arctic Centre in Rovaniemi (Finland) where he coordinated several EU and Finnish research projects in Northeast European Russia, mostly in the Usa River Basin. A series of published papers dealt with the longterm (Holocene) history of permafrost dynamics in the area, regional climate modelling and permafrost simulation, GISbased river discharge modelling and fluvial morphology in a permafrost environment, regional permafrost mapping and changes in permafrost conditions for the period of recent warming, GIS-based regional soil mapping including the distribution of cryosols as well as soil carbon allocation, measurement of carbon fluxes in a permafrost environment, GIS-based modelling of the arctic treeline in relation to climate and ground conditions, and the distribution of infrastructure in relation to present and future permafrost conditions. Kuhry’s present efforts are focusing on the distribution at the regional and landscape levels of soil organic matter quantity and quality in permafrost soils and sensitivity to climate change. Britta Sannel started her PhD studies in August 2004 on the topic of temporal and spatial dynamics of peat plateau/ thermokarst complexes‚which includes plant macrofossil studies, remote sensing and ground monitoring of peat plateau areas in Scandinavia, Canada and Russia.
Jonas Åkerman (Jonas.Akerman@nateko.lu.se)