Over the past 12 years N.Sharkhuu (retired from Institute of Geography, MAS) individually prepared most of permafrost monitoring boreholes in Mongolia, expanding from year to year and conducting permafrost monitoring of Mongolia within the framework of international CALM and GTN-P programs in close collaboration with F. Nelson and N. Shiklomanov from University of Delaware (with its fi nancial and data logger support) and with V. Romanovsky and K. Yoshikawa from University of Alaska Fairbanks (who recently supplied nine HOBO U12 dataloggers). At present, there are 44 CALM and GTN-P boreholes in Mongolia. 23 boreholes are equipped with temperature data loggers.

At least five New Zealanders attended the NICOP in Alaska, a highlight being the presentation of the fi rst TransAntarctic Mountain region soil and permafrost maps as a contribution to ANTPAS (the Antarctic Permafrost and Soil Group) (Balks et al., Bockheim et al., McLeod et al., in the NICOP proceedings).

TSP Norway IPY project activities: The Permafrost Observatory project: A contribution to the thermal state of permafrost in Norway and Svalbard (TSP Norway) was introduced in the last issue.

In 2008, Polish studies of land cryosphere (permafrost and glaciers) were carried out in the polar regions of the Arctic on Spitsbergen and of the Western Antarctic (King George Island, Southern Shetlands) at the Polish polar stations and in the mountains areas of central and northern Europe (High Tatra Mountains and Scandinavian Mountains in the Abisko region).

The International Polar Year has provided the framework for a strong development of permafrost science in Portugal and in 2008 signifi cant developments have been achieved:

In 2008, the activities of the members of Romanian Permafrost and Periglacial Research Group continued in all regions of the Romanian Carpathians.

In 2008, the investigations of Russian geocryologists were carried out on a wide variety of topics, and focused on the analysis of the spatial-temporal characteristics of the cryosphere, its reaction to the global and regional climate change and to human-induced impacts.

During the past year permafrost and periglacial research activities developed by the Spanish research teams were mainly conducted in universities of Barcelona, Complutense de Madrid, Autónoma de Madrid, Alcalá de Henares, León, Valladolid, Extremadura, Santiago de Compostela and Zaragoza.

H. Ridefelt and J. Boelhouwers at Uppsala University are continuing a project on spatial modeling of solifl uction processes in the Abisko region, northern Sweden.

On June 6, 2008, the Federal Council announced that the essential climate variables, among which glaciers, which are surveyed by the world glacier monitoring service in Zurich, now include permafrost.