IPA Resolutions: Zurich, Switzerland, 25 July 2003 (8th ICOP)


Recognising the inter- and multi-disciplinary nature of permafrost science and engineering and its representation in many diverse bodies, scientific unions, associations, and professional societies with related interests, the International Permafrost Association resolves to endorse and participate in the continuation of existing collaboration and the establishment of new joint programs including, but not limited to:

  • Continuation and expansion of the IPA-coordinated, GCOS/GTOS Global Terrestrial Network-Permafrost (GTN-P) monitoring programme including CALM, PACE, and other networks (see Yellowknife Resolution 1, 1998);
  • Planning and implementation of the WCRP Climate and Cryosphere (CliC) Project Area on Terrestrial Cryosphere, and other WCRP related projects (GEWEX, CLIVAR);
  • Developing a joint project with ICSI on ice–permafrost interactions;
  • Planning and participation in the Fourth International Polar Year (IPY4 2007/8) and other related programs including the IUGS Planet Earth project (2004/7);
  • Planning and implementation of an Antarctic Permafrost and Periglacial Working Group and the development of a programme in cooperation with SCAR (see Yellowknife Resolution 2, 1998);
  • Coordination of a planetary permafrost activity and development of a Working Group with interests on both biological and physical processes;
  • Participation in international planning conferences including the IASC organised Second International Conference on Arctic Research Planning (ICARP II/2005); impact assessments (IPCC, ACIA); and symposia such as the Northern Research Basins (NRB);
  • Development of a new IGU/IPA agreement for an IGU Commission related to cold regions processes;
  • Contributions to the planning and implementation of relevant IGBP projects and activities such as the Mountain Research Initiative and LOICZ, as well as the Earth System Science Partnership project on Global Carbon, among other programs; and
  • Participation in relevant national and regional programs such as SEARCH, CRYSYS, and existing and new national committees that address cryology (National CliC Committees in China , Japan , Russia , etc.).


Recognising that responses to climate are complex and multiple-dimensional in both time and space, and that currently many of these complex problems are approached at various scales and levels of resolution by individuals and small teams of experts, be it resolved that the IPA Working Parties consider several key problems that include, but are not limited to:

  • Examination of the development of a unified approach to the definition of permafrost and delineation of permafrost boundaries at various spatial resolutions and scales (for past, present, and future climate scenarios);
  • Inter-comparison of regional and global models and development of models for diverse environmental conditions.
  • Mapping of existing permafrost and ground-ice conditions and monitoring of changes at regional and continental scales (including mountains);
  • Assessing responses of permafrost processes (including coastal, slope, geomorphic) to changes in environmental forcing;
  • Assessing responses of infrastructures to changing permafrost regimes; and
  • Continued development of the Global Geocryological Database (GGD) and updating of metadata and archives related to permafrost-climate investigations.

Furthermore, accomplishments resulting from these resolutions be reported periodically at appropriate scientific and engineering meetings and at the 9th International Conference on Permafrost, in Fairbanks , Alaska , June 2008.

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