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The joint Japanese and Mongolian project of the Northern Hemisphere Cryosphere Program of RIGC, sponsored by JAMASTEC continues into its seventh year in Nalaikh and Terelj areas near Ulaanbaatar. In addition, within the framework of this project M. Ishikawa, Saruulzaya from Hokkaido University and Jambaljav, Dashtseren, Jargaltulga, Javhlan from Institute of Geography, MAS started to monitor ground temperatures in more than 30 shallow (5-10 m deep) boreholes with and without permafrost, located mainly in Altai and southern Hangai regions, Western Mongolia. Last year the boreholes were drilled by the Institute of Geography, MAS. This year JAMASTEC provided full funds for field work and HOBO U12 data loggers for equipping the boreholes.

For now 13 years, monitoring of permafrost temperatures and active layer thickness has been continued successfully in more than 40 (shallow to deep) boreholes in permafrost in Mongolia within the framework of the International CALM and GTN-P programs through collaboration between N. Sharkhuu and scientists from University of Alaska, Fairbanks and University of Delaware. In addition, within the framework of the above NHCP/RIGC project N. Sharkhuu started collaboration in monitoring of permafrost in some selected boreholes, located in the Northern Mongolia.

Within the framework of PIRE (Partnerships for International Research and Education) - Ecological and Evolutionary Effects of Climate Change and Anthropogenic Influences in Mongolia project, implemented by the University of Pennsylvania and National University of Mongolia, sponsored by National Science Foundation of the U.S., Prof. Alain and graduate student Sh. Anarmaa from the University of Pennsylvania have started monitoring changes in soil carbon respiration, soil temperature and moisture content in experimentally warmed chambers, which simulate global warming, and control plots at 12 observation sites, underlain by discontinuous permafrost, in the eastern Hovsgol area, Northern Mongolia. In addition, research on quantifying above- and below-ground carbon stocks is planned to be carried out. This project will continue for next four years. N. Sharkhuu conducts monitoring of permafrost temperature and active layer thickness in nine boreholes in this area as he did in the last seven years.

K. Yoshikawa, University of Alaska Fairbanks and N. Sharkhuu conducted borehole drilling (down to 33 m) at a 20 m high Mongot pingo top in Tes valley, Northern Mongolia.  The purpose of this drilling was to understand pingo ice formation using isotope analysis, to monitor permafrost temperature, active layer and artesian water pressure by data loggers. This pingo was also drilled in 1968 and water was encountered under pressure at 32 m. The initial flow resulted in a 70 cm high artesian fountain which flow was carefully monitored for 120 hours by N. Sharkhuu. New data from the drilling enables to estimate some change in dynamics of the pingo evolution during last 40 years.

Natsagdorj Sharkhuu (sharkhuu_n@yahoo.com).