Intensive field studies during the years 2010 to 2014 allowed developing the rules for the permafrost distribution in the Kyrgyz Tianshan. The results are published online in the dissertation "Glaciers and permafrost in Kyrgyzstan - distribution, recent dynamics, and relevance as water resource and hazard factor for the development of Central Asian semiarid regions" by Murataly Turganalievich Duishonakunov, currently at Kyrgyz National University of Kyrgyzstan, and CAIAG Bishkek. The project was financed by Volkswagenstiftung (LUCA project), supervised by Ryskul Usubaliev/Lorenz King and logistically supported by CAIAG Bishkek.
Studies for distribution and temperature of ground ice
For the current study we investigated frozen ground in the upstream Naryn catchments, between August 2010 and August 2013. We measured the near-surface ground temperature at 18 locations at different altitudes and slopes. The objectives of this study are to estimate the distribution of permafrost, and its active layer, and to discuss the permafrost environment in the upstream Naryn catchments. The general features of mountain permafrost such as permafrost distribution and temperatures, active layer thicknesses within the upstream Naryn catchments, Tian Shan Mountains are described. The area of permafrost studies in the Naryn basin is located within the two upstream river basins (Chon Naryn and Kichi Naryn). The mountain permafrost zone in our study area belongs to the Asian mountain permafrost area, the largest in the world.
Ground temperature had been measured in some boreholes by the 1970-1980s. Some of these boreholes were re-drilled on the same places within the establishment of permafrost network for last 5 years. In framework of national and international project and program the permafrost network with 120 boreholes has been established in Mongolia for 5-15 years. Therefore, we have a possibility to determine the changes of permafrost in Mongolia for last 30 years. As results of permafrost monitoring the permafrost warming has been registered in North and at high altitude, and the permafrost thawing has been registered in southern fringe of Mongolian permafrost regions for last 30 years. As recommended in second international symposium on mountain and arid land permafrost the Mongolian permafrost and ecological network was recognized as critical for understanding the dynamics of permafrost. Long (12-46 years) term monitoring of permafrost temperature and active layer thickness is continued by Sharkhuu in 48 boreholes with depths of mainly 10-15 m to 100-200 m, located in the Hovsgol, Hangai and Hentei mountainous regions of Mongolia.
The New Zealand Antarctic Research Community was delighted to host the XXIII biennial SCAR meeting in Auckland in August 2014. Mauro Guglielmin convened the soil and permafrost sessions for the SCAR conference. There were 50 abstracts, 15 talks, 35 posters + other relevant talks in other sessions, making permafrost and soils one of the larger groups within the SCAR conference. Thanks to Mauro for his effort here.
Geology Department, UNIS
In 2014 the periglacial research group in the Geology Department of The University Centre in Svalbard, UNIS, did a summer permafrost drilling campaign at Station Nord, at 81˚N in northernmost Greenland using our UNIS permafrost drill rig. Two boreholes down to 22 m were drilled, cores partially collected, the boreholes cased and instrumented for continuous ground thermal monitoring. These installations form part of the scientific observation programme of the new Villum Research Station, which was also built this summer. This building activity enabled direct air transport between Svalbard and Station Nord of the drill rig. The campaign was carried out in collaboration with Center for Permafrost, CENPERM, University of Copenhagen, Denmark.
In June-July 2014 the first of two planned AG-218/219 'International Bachelor Permafrost Summer Field Schools' as part of the University of the Arctic Thematic Network on Permafrost was held at UNIS in close cooperation with University of Alaska Fairbanks and other partners in this network. 25 students from nine different countries took this 5/10 ECTS course, which had as the main aim to provide an overview of how diverse permafrost studies are in modern Earth System Science, from potential carbon release due to increased permafrost thawing to conditions for infrastructure on permafrost.
Different aspects of permafrost were investigated in 2014 in three areas: on Spitsbergen, in Poland and in northern Sweden.
On Spitsbergen, permafrost research during the spring and summer seasons of 2014 was conducted by research teams of Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań (in Petuniabukta, Billefjorden) and Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń (on the Kaffiøyra Plain). The teams from both universities were supported by the National Science Center funding 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).
Researchers of the project Permantar-3 (Permafrost and Climate Change in the Maritime Antarctic), led by G. Vieira (University of Lisbon) conducted field activities in Deception (G. Prates and G. Goyanes) and Livingston islands (A. Ferreira and A. David) aiming at: i. maintenance of the GTN-P and CALM-S observatories, ii. Monitoring terrain deformation in rockglaciers and stone-banked lobes, iii. Snow pit surveying for ground truthing of TerraSAR-X imagery (DLR LAN1276), iv. Geodetical surveying, v. installation of soil and air temperature arrays of sensors in order to evaluate detailed n-factors. New results have been obtained on TTOP based modelling of permafrost temperature, high resolution snow mapping using microwave remote sensing, assessment of rock glacier deformation from INSAR and on ground temperature regimes in the boundary zone between permafrost and geothermal anomalous terrains. The cooperation between the universities of Lisbon and Alcalá de Henares (Spain) was strengthened with the integration in the groups of a new PhD student (JJ Jiménez) co-supervised by G. Vieira and M. Ramos, which will be working on high resolution remote sensing of snow cover.
Geocryological monitoring in Geocryological monitoring in undisturbed condition was continued. The 2014-results were submitted in the GTN-P Database. The 298 observatories contain several boreholes or soil temperature measurements. The 61 CALM-sites present different landscape condition.
Earth Cryosphere Institute (Earth Cryosphere Institute, Siberian Branch, Russian Academy of Science (ECI SB RAS) publishes the journal "Earth's Cryosphere" ("Kriosfera Zemli", http://www.izdatgeo.ru). The results of the most fundamental and advanced investigations, important results on the programs of the Earth Cryosphere Institute (ECI SB RAS) and of the many others Institutes and organizations specializing on permafrost/cryosphere researches are presented in the journal "Earth's Cryosphere" ("Kriosfera Zemli"). The abstracts of the most interesting papers are submitted for the consideration of readers.
Korea Polar Research Institute
Korea Polar Research Institute has opened a web page in May 2014, (http://www.arctic.or.kr), to provide all sorts of arctic related information in Korean. The webpage introduces organizations and groups involved in arctic activities as well as scientific activities. South Korea was granted an observer status in the Arctic Council in 2013, from when interest in the Arctic has been rapidly growing among the Korean government and the general public. The web page, "Arctic N", can satisfy the curiosity of the people by providing systematically organized Arctic information.
Research on periglacial environments and permafrost from the Spanish Universities and research institutes continue at the same line that previous year, working in Andes, Iceland, Antártida and Iberian mountains or Mars. In spite of hard financial restrictions the different research groups work and collaborate with institutions and researchers from USA, Germany, Iceland, New Zealand, Mexico or Portugal. Strenuous efforts, to both personal and collective, to engage in research joint to the researcher international community are being made. More than eight research groups are working in periglacial environments; we present in this report the activity of only some of them.
Dep. of Physical Geography and Ecosystem Sciences, Lund
For the 37th year in a row, the research group from Lund University has carried out active layer monitoring in the Abisko area. The last summer was very warm and especially in the degraded peat plateaus the warm summer was directly reflected in a thicker active layer. The active layer data is submitted to the CALM database. In addition, ground temperatures from five boreholes have been downloaded and submitted to the GTN-P database.