2007

During the past year the Italian scientific community was mainly concentrated on research in the Alps as a major financial reduction of the Antarctic funding did not allow any scientific fieldwork. Only permafrost, active layer and ice-wedge monitoring was continued in the Antarctic. In the Alps, several investigations were conducted by different research teams with the support of national, local and European funds.

In Alaska, the project 2004 Forest Fire Impacts to Hydrological Cycles, Permafrost and Eco Systems in Central Alaska has continued since 2005 to monitor permafrost conditions after a severe wildfire (M. Fukuda, K. Harada, Y. Sawada, K. Narita, and M. Ishikawa).

Since 1996, CALM and GTN-P programs in Mongolia were continued by N. Sharkhuu in close collaboration with F. Nelson and N. Shiklomanov from University of Delaware. At present, there are 44 CALM sites and GTN-P boreholes in Mongolia. Most of the boreholes are located in the Hövsgöl and Hentei mountain regions. Seventeen boreholes are equipped with temperature dataloggers. Initial data on continuous temperature measurements and movable thermistor strings in all the boreholes were compiled by Sh. Anarmaa and included in international permafrost databases. Some results on permafrost monitoring in Mongolia were published in the JGR journal (Sharkhuu, A., et al, 2007).

In Nepal, the detailed scientific study of high altitude geomorphology started in the early 1970s under the project called Glaciological Expedition to Nepal (GEN) leaded by K. Higuchi of Nagoya University, Japan.

In January 2007 M. McLoed of Landcare Research, along with J. Aislabie (Landcare Research), M. Balks (University of Waikato), and J. Bockheim (University of Wisconsin Madison), completed the third field season for McLoed’s PhD study undertaking soil mapping, and developing a vulnerability index for soils in the Wright Valley of Antarctica.

TSP NORWAY IPY project activities The Norwegian IPY project Permafrost Observatory Project: A contribution to the thermal state of permafrost in Norway and Svalbard (TSP NORWAY) officially started on March 1, 2007, as part of the international IPY TSP cluster project.

2007 was remarkable because of the beginning of the IV IPY 2007-2009. On this occasion a special conference organized by the Polish Academy of Science, Ministry of Science and Higher Education and Polish Committee for IV IPY was held in Warsaw in the Staszic Palace, the seat of the Polish Academy of Science, April 27.

The research group on Antarctic permafrost at the Centre for Geographical Studies, University of Lisbon, (CEG-UL) continued in 2007 the activities in the South Shetlands (Antarctic Peninsula region) under the coordination of G. Vieira.

During the last year the activities of Romanian scientists interested in glacial and periglacial geomorphology continued in all branches of the Romanian Carpathians.