Different aspects of permafrost were investigated in 2013 in three areas: on Spitsbergen, in northern Sweden and on King George Island (Antarctica).
On Spitsbergen, permafrost research during the summer season of 2013 was conducted by the Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań (in Petuniabukta, Billefjorden) and the Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń (on the Kaffiøyra Plain). Both universities’ research teams were supported by National Science Center funds within two projects: Cryosphere reactions against the background of environmental changes in contrasting high-Arctic conditions on Svalbard (led by Grzegorz Rachlewicz), and Contemporary and historical changes in the Svalbard climate and topoclimates (led by Rajmund Przybylak).
In 2013 only two groups were engaged in periglacial geomorphology and permafrost researches, the University of Timisoara and Bucharest. The group of periglacial researchers from West University of Timişoara (P. Urdea, A. Onaca, F. Ardelean, A. Ardelean, R. Şerban, R. Puţan, F. Sîrbu) continued to study permafrost distribution and other significant periglacial landforms (solifluxions, block streams, talus slope deposits) in Southern Carpathians. The main goal of the approach was to capture the current amplitude of periglacial processes from Southern Carpathians, taking into account the complex relationship between the detailed morphology of analyzed landforms, their internal structure and their thermal regime and actual movement. To achieve this goal, several test sites were chosen for detailed analysis of selected periglacial phenomena and structures.
Russian Academy of Science earth cryosphere Institute of Siberian Branch RAS (ECI SB RAS)
V.S. Sheinkman, V.P. Melnikov. Siberian glaciers as a component of cryolithogenic-glacial geosystems
Cold continental climate in Siberia determines peculiar conditions of glacier formation and dynamics. Interacting with permafrost, they become a new element of cryodiversity, i.e. a set of objects and phenomena produced by cold, and differ greatly from the glaciers which used to be considered from the positions of the Alpine glaciation model. Being cooled down to quite low temperature (much below 0ºС), the glaciers in Siberia acquire traits which are more inherent for the cryolithozone rather than for Alpine-type glaciers. The acquired feature calls for regarding the formed aggregation of glaciers and permafrost as a peculiar geosystems; we name them cryolithogenic-glacial systems.
Korea Polar Research Institute
The 19th International Symposium on Polar Sciences was held in Korea Polar Research Institute on October 16-18, 2013 with a subject of “Toward comprehensive understanding on Arctic climate change”. Over 150 participants from 12 countries joined the symposium, and six plenary speeches and about 100 oral and poster presentations were presented in six sessions: Atmosphere, Ice and Ocean, Northern Route, Permafrost-Atmosphere Interactions, Arctic Terrestrial Ecosystems, and Arctic Paleoceanogrpahy. Along with the symposium, Pacific Arctic Group (PAG) meeting, Planning Meeting for Collaborative Observational Study in the Seasonal Ice Zone near Svalbard, Permafrost study group meeting, and Arctic Terrestrial Ecosystem group meeting were held during the symposium.
The Spanish researchers continue working on permafrost and periglacial environments during the last year although the economical circumstances are not favorable because the decrease of research budgets. The different groups working on Antarctic and periglacial environments in the Iberian Peninsula, Andes or Arctic since more than 20 years ago continue working and collaborating with national and foreign research groups and the biannual meeting joint to the Portuguese group of IPA have been celebrated.
During 2013, Stockholm University conducted permafrost related research in the framework of the EU-FP7 PAGE 21 project, the EU COST action PERGAMON, the EU INTERACT program, the NordForsk Nordic Centre of Excellence DEFROST project, the NordForsk Nordic Permafrost Network PERMA-NORDNET, the Swedish Research Council-supported ESF CRYOCARB project, the Bolin Centre for Climate Research (Stockholm University), the US-NSF Vulnerability of Permafrost Carbon Research Coordination Network, the US-DOE Office of Biological and Environmental Research, and the US-NSF Macrosystems Biology program.
Swiss Permafrost Monitoring
The Swiss Permafrost Monitoring initiative PERMOS (http://www.permos.ch) maintains a network of 28 high alpine sites in order to document the state and changes of permafrost in Switzerland based on three main observation elements (ground temperatures, changes in subsurface ice and water content, and permafrost creep velocities). PERMOS is funded by the Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN), the Swiss GCOS Office at MeteoSwiss, and the Swiss Academy of Sciences (SCNAT). The PERMOS Office (at the University of Zurich) coordinates observation and reporting activities undertaken by the six partner institutions ETH Zurich (ETHZ), the Universities of Fribourg (UNIFR), Lausanne (UNIL), Zurich (UZH), the WSL Institute for Snow and Avalanche Research (SLF) and the University of Applied Sciences and Arts of Southern Switzerland (SUPSI, since 2013).
NERC Arctic Research Programme
Two permafrost projects funded by NERC’s Arctic Research Programme 2010–15 have carried out their first field season of data collection in NW Canada. CYCLOPS (Carbon Cycling Linkages of Permafrost Systems) researchers collected data on vegetation characteristics, soil properties, peat and carbon gases from sites near Whitehorse, Yukon. HYDRA (Permafrost catchments in transition: hydrological controls on carbon cycling and greenhouse gas budgets) researchers collected data on hydrology and permafrost conditions near Inuvik. Further information on both projects is available at: http://arp.arctic.ac.uk/
US Permafrost Association
The annual meeting of the US Permafrost Association (USPA) Board of Directors and a general member meeting was held at the 2013 Fall Meeting of the American Geophysical Union. Ed Yarmak replaced Michael Lilly as the president and Gerald “JJ” Frost replaced Tom Douglas as the Treasurer.
Current USPA membership includes 34 student members, 24 regular members, and 12 corporate/non-profits/lifetime members, for a total of 70 members and includes several non US members. An email campaign was initiated at the end of 2013 for the renewal of and recruitment of new memberships.
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