The state of permafrost during the International Year of Planet Earth

Category Other
Group GSI.IR
Location International Geological Congress,oslo 2008
Author Brown, Jerry۱; Romanovsky, Vladimir۲; Christiansen, Hanne H.۳
Holding Date 11 October 2008

During recent decades warming of permafrost terrains have been observed in boreholes over many continental regions and mid-latitude mountains, accompanied in some cases by increased thickness of the seasonally thawed zone, or active layer. In addition to temperature measurements remotely-sensed, time series and in situ measurements of trace gas fluxes are providing information on recent changes to the diverse, permafrost-dominated landscapes, including changes in eroding coastlines and lake-dominated terrains. The International Permafrost Association is coordinating a number of programs that contribute directly to the themes of the International Year of Planet Earth. They are being implemented through four coordinated projects under the International Polar Year (IPY), and are designed to establish the current status of permafrost conditions and recent changes. This introductory presentation to the symposium (AAA-08) will present an overview of the current field investigations to be discussed in more detailed in the invited and contributed papers.
Permafrost Observatory Project is a Contribution to the Thermal State of Permafrost (TSP) is developing a spatially distributed set of observations on the status of permafrost temperatures, active layer depths and periglacial landform activity.
Carbon Pools in Permafrost Regions (CAPP) project is aimed at quantifying soil organic matter quantity (stocks) and its quality in high-latitude and high-altitude regions and that are characterized by both permafrost and non-permafrost terrains.
Antarctic and sub-Antarctic Permafrost, Periglacial and Soil Environments project (ANTPAS) is aimed at integrating existing and new data on the distribution, thickness, age, history and physical and geochemical properties of soils and permafrost.
Arctic Circum-Polar Coastal Observatory Network (ACCO-Net) plans to develop and coordinate a monitoring program incorporating diverse coastal regions.
Our collective IPY-IYPE permafrost legacy is to establish a permanent, bipolar network of observatories and to encourage the development of the next generation of permafrost researchers. The Permafrost Young Researcher Network (PYRN), the International University Courses on Permafrost (IUCP), and a centralized data activity are part of the IPA efforts.