Permafrost Research Priorities: A Roadmap for the Future

Contact: Hugues Lantuit – hugues.lantuit(at)

At present, no consensus document exists at the international level to identify forward-looking priorities in permafrost research. The IPA has partnered with CliC (Climate and Cryosphere) to seize the opportunity offered by the upcoming International Conference on Arctic Research Planning III (ICARP III) and the SCAR Horizon Scan to frame a consultative process that will result in the formulation of such permafrost priorities. Provisionally entitled “Permafrost Research Priorities: A Roadmap for the Future” will focus on all permafrost regions, from the Arctic to the Antarctic and mountain permafrost around the globe in order to accurately represent the level of overlap in scientific challenges in all three domains.

The product stemming from the effort will consist of a high level, but short publication in a high-profile journal listing and putting into context permafrost research priorities. The document aims to become the benchmark against which permafrost research should be gauged starting in 2015.

The Core group consists of the following individuals representing the diversity of permafrost research and its applications:

  • Hugues Lantuit (AWI, Germany, Chair)
  • Michel Allard (Université Laval, Canada)
  • Mauro Guglielmin (Insubria University, Italy)
  • Margareta Johansson (Lund University, Sweden)
  • Gleb Kraev (Centre for Forest Ecology and Productivity, Russian Federation)
  • Michael Krautblatter (Technical University of Munich, Germany)
  • Gerhard Krinner (LGGE Grenoble, France)
  • Edward A. G. Schuur (University of Florida, USA)
  • Jenny Baeseman (CliC, Director, Ex-Officio)
  • Karina Schollaen (IPA, Executive Director, Ex-Officio)
  • Ylva Sjöberg (University of Stockholm, Sweden, CliC Fellow)

PRP in four points

  • A first phase (May-June 2014) to collect research questions from the community
  • A second phase (Fall 2014) to rank the research questions
  • A fully transparent process based on online submissions and voting
  • An output consisting of a short publication highlighting the top 10 research priorities and a longer academic paper describing the entire process (2015)

Community Input

The ICARP III Permafrost research priorities will be defined based on input from the permafrost community at large. To do so, the core group will collect information through an online submission and commenting process and through the organization of consultation meetings at relevant conferences and meetings.


Participation to the online questionnaire is open to all. The audiences targeted in the process will be engaged through mailing lists, as well as targeted searches in bibliographic databases.

Internet consultation process

An online home will be set up jointly with the partners involved in the process (e.g. IPA, CliC, IASC) and will be used to collect input from the community at large. The community will be informed through mailing lists, word of mouth, newsletters, etc. and be invited to provide targeted comments on the definition of research priorities. The process will be inspired by the one organized for the elaboration of the Future Earth project of ICSU and by the Horizon Scanning of SCAR.

Consultation meetings

Several meetings will be organized during or around other major events to maximize awareness about the project and collect additional input from the community. In some cases (e.g. EGU, EUCOP4), the core group will organize events targeted to early career researchers and encourage participation in the process. The Asian and southern hemisphere communities will be reached out to by the core group to ensure participation in some of these meeting.