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CliC - related sessions at the European Conference on Permafrost

Registration and abstract submission are now open for the 4th European Conference on Permafrost – IPA Regional Conference (EUCOP4), held in Évora, Portugal from 18 to 21 June 2014. The deadline for abstract submission is 15 December 2013.

We would like to draw your attention to the following EUCOP4 sessions of particular interest for the CliC community, session 17 and session 6 follow on CliC sponsored workshops:

Session 22. Permafrost International Monitoring, Observing and Coordinating Activities, Chaired by Hugues Lantuit (AWI, Germany) and CliC Director Jenny Baeseman (CliC) with Key-note Speaker former CliC Scientific Steering Group member: Vladimir Romanovsky, University of Alaska Fairbanks, USA.

Permafrost research has evolved considerably over the past fifty years. From a science discipline practiced by a few specialists to a central topic in Earth system science involving a wide range of specialties and disciplines. This breadth of science has raised the expectations put on the community of permafrost scientists, and has prompted the need to have timely permafrost information and discoveries from around the globe. This has created a need to improve the current capacity of individual and national permafrost research projects by enhancing and improving international collaboration. In this session, we will highlight recent and necessary efforts to consolidate and coordinate permafrost research activities at the regional and global level to address societal and scientific needs. The session will feature projects, networks, or people initiating or leading coordination efforts, may it be under the helm of international organisations such as the International Permafrost Association or the Climate and Cryosphere project, or simply through national and/or bottom-up networks and groups. The session will provide a forum to explore the plans of global observing systems in relation to permafrost, for space agencies to present new permafrost space monitoring efforts and for international organisations and/or projects to showcase products and deliverables achieved through networking as well as discuss areas where more coordination is needed. The session will also address the challenges of integrating current monitoring, observing and modeling coordination efforts and explore strategies to address these challenges by involving local communities and traditional knowledge in the process.

Session 19. Bridging the gap between models and observations in permafrost landscapes. Chairs: Julia Boike (AWI) and CliC Scientific Steering Group member Gerhard Krinner (Laboratoire de Glaciologie et Géophysique de l’Environnement) Key-note Speaker: Sebastian Westermann, Department of Geosciences, University of Oslo.

In a changing climate, both the impacts on permafrost ecosystems and their feedbacks on the climate system will be mediated by fluxes of energy and mass that occur between the ground and the atmosphere. A better understanding of land-atmosphere interactions is thus key to sound predictions on the future permafrost state and its role in the global climate system. To achieve this goal, in particular improvements in the process representations and parameterizations in atmospheric circulation models are required. In the last decade, an increasing number of measurement campaigns in permafrost environments have focused on providing high-quality Earth observation data sets that are employed for validation and improvement of permafrost processes in atmospheric modeling schemes. This session seeks to bring together field scientists and modelers who aim for a better understanding of the coupled permafrost-snow-vegetation-atmosphere system. We encourage contributions about measurements and modeling approaches for transfer processes of energy (e.g. radiation and turbulent fluxes) and mass (e.g. carbon, nitrogen and water) in permafrost environments. The session will present a forum for discussion between field-based and modeling-focused scientists, which will help to define requirements of the modeling community to future research campaigns and data sets. Contributions from large scale integrated research projects, such as the EU funded 7th framework project PAGE21 or the RCN, are also welcome.

Session 18. Permafrost and frozen ground engineering. Chairs: Component Team member of the CliC sponsored Arctic freshwater Synthesis Arne Instanes (UNIS, Norway and member of ISSMGE TC216) Huijun Jin (Chinese Academy of Sciences, Lanzhou, China) Key-note Speaker: Brian Moorman, Department of Geography of the University of Calgary, Canada.

The engineering session welcomes contributions from scientists and engineers involved in research and practice related to permafrost and frozen ground engineering.
Topics may include:-Cold regions infrastructure design

-Transportation systems in cold regions

-Pipelines in permafrost

-Oil and gas

-Environmental considerations

-Climate change impact assessments

-Mechanical behavior of permafrost and frozen ground

-Frost heave and thaw settlement processes

-Artificial ground freezing and artificial cooling devices

Session 17. Remote Sensing, DEMs and GIS applications in periglacial research. Chairs: Anne Morgenstern (AWI, Germany) Annett Bartsch (Vienna University of Technology, Austria) Key-note Speaker: Guido Grosse, Geophysical Institute, University of Alaska Fairbanks.

Related to the DUE Permafrost workshop:
Recent advances in remote sensing and geo information technologies allow observation of permafrost and periglacial landforms and dynamics with increasing spatial, temporal, and spectral resolution as well as higher precision. Such satellite, airborne, and ground-based remote sensing data are now frequently used for qualitative and quantitative investigations in periglacial research both in polar lowland and mountain permafrost regions. This session aims at demonstrating and discussing the applicability, potential, and constraints of high-resolution remote sensing data, digital elevation models (DEMs), and their spatial analysis using geographic information systems (GIS) for answering current and pressing questions in permafrost science. We invite contributions from all sensors (optical, radar, laser scanners), platforms (satellite, airborne, terrestrial), methods (photogrammetry, field surveys, geostatistics, etc.), and applications (geomorphological, hydrological, ecological, engineering, etc.).

Session 6. Biogeochemistry of Permafrost in Transition. Chairs: Warwick Vincent (Univ. Laval, Canada) João Canário (Technical University of Lisbon, Portugal) Key-note Speaker: Bo Elberling, University of Copenhagen, Denmark.

Related to the THAW 2014 workshop:
There is increasing concern about the effects of climate change on the thawing of permafrost at high latitudes and the resultant mobilization of carbon, nutrients and metals within and from watersheds underlain by permafrost. Arctic permafrost contains a major fraction of the world’s soil organic carbon, and until recently this was considered to be deep frozen and largely sequestered from global biogeochemical cycles. However, the rapid thawing of permafrost has begun to result in the release of some of this carbon into the atmosphere as greenhouse gases, which in turn may have positive feedback effects that accelerate permafrost degradation. Permafrost thaw processes may also influence aquatic ecosystems such as northern lakes, rivers and coastal waters. Antarctic permafrost has also been affected by climate change in some locations, and there is increasing interest in the microbiology and biogeochemistry of these south polar soils. This session will focus on biogeochemical processes in polar and alpine permafrost environments, with special attention to carbon, nitrogen, sulfur and trace element cycles. The session will also include contributions on the microbial ecology of permafrost ecosystems such as polar deserts, thermokarst lakes and tundra wetlands, and the environmental consequences of permafrost thaw at regional and global scales.

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All the procedure should be done through the online registration and abstract submission forms. At the website: http://www.eucop4.org/ you will find details about the planned sessions, key-note lectures and planned workshops.

Please be aware that the field trips are limited to a small number of participants and the registration will be on a first come, first served basis. Some of the field trips may be therefore fully booked soon.

For the registration, students which are PYRN members will benefit of a special reduced fee which will be available for the first 150 registrants.

We recommend that you book the hotels directly via the online registration form. June is nearly peak tourist season in Évora and it is convenient to book well in advance. The process will be managed by EUCOP4 Executive Secretariat at Abreu (, phone: +351-214156383), which is available to help with travel and accomodation requests, including bookings for the social program for accompanying persons.