The project «Structure, Evolution and Dynamics of the Lithosphere, Cryosphere and Biosphere in the Antarctic and the European Arctic» started at the beginning of 2005 within the Committee for Scientific Research (No. PBZ-KBN-108/P04/2004).

The project realization is based on interdisciplinary research which is partly included in the research network connected with IPY 2007/2008 and the internationally coordinated CALM programme. One of the main research topics is the response of continental cryosphere to climate global warming. As in the previous years, Polish polar research focused in two regions:

  • Arctic: Polish Polar Station of Institute of Geophysics, Polish Academy of Sciences in Hornsund; working year-round and with university stations active only in the summer season;
  • Antarctic: Henryk Arctowski Station on King George Island, South Shetlands; Department of Antarctic Biology, Polish Academy of Sciences, yearly cycle.

Arctic research is carried out mostly in earth sciences while biological sciences are predominant in Antarctic activities.

In the summer of 2005, research on permafrost was carried out in the following Svalbard regions: at the Polish Polar Station in Hornsund (K. Migala, J. Klementowski); at Calypsostranda in Recherchefjorden (northwest of Wedel Jarlsberg Land), in Calypsobyen, the base of Maria Curie-Sklodowska University in Lublin (K. Pekala, J. Repelewska-Pekalowa); on the Kaffioyra plain (Oscar II Land), at the station of Nicholas Copernicus University in Torun (M. Grzes); in the Billefjorden region (Petuniabukta), in the research area of Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznan (A. Kostrzewski, G. Rachlewicz). Logistic problems were solved through a scientific cooperation with the Gdynia Maritime University (A.A. Marsz, A. Styszynska) whose research ship «Horyzont II» was used for transport between Gdynia and Spitsbergen and for research on the waters around Svalbard. Glaciological investigations mainly on glacier mass balance in Spitsbergen started in the early spring and were partly continued in the summer (J. Jania, Silesia University).

In 2005, two conferences allowed direct contacts between researchers, prompt publication of the latest results and an improved information flow. Polish and foreign polar researchers met September 2005 in Kielce, at the XXXI International Polar Symposium organized by the Jan Kochanowski University in Kielce, the Polar Club of the Polish Geographical Society and the Committee on Polar Research of the Polish Academy of Sciences. A plenary session allowed the presentation of interdisciplinary results on periglacial geoecosystems in the Arctic and the Antarctic. The conference of the Polish Geomorphologists Association was held in Krakow September 19-22, 2005; periglacial research was one of the conference topics.

Polish researchers took part to the EUCOP II Conference in Potsdam. They presented seven papers. The topics include: rock glaciers, permafrost distribution and its thermal conditions in High Tatra Mountains, pingos on Spitsbergen, geophysical evidence of permafrost occurrence in Northeast Poland as well as measurements of electrical resistivity of contemporary glacial and fluvioglacial deposits on Spitsbergen.

Kazimierz Pekala (