Climate change will cause major changes in the Earth surface systems and the most dramatic changes are expected to occur in the cold climate environments of the Earth. Cold climate landscapes are some of the last wilderness areas containing specialized and diverse plants and animals as well as large stores of soil carbon. Geomorphological processes, operating at the Earth’s surface, transferring sediments and changing landforms are dependent on climate, vegetation cover and human impacts and will be significantly affected by climate change. In this context it is a major challenge to develop a better understanding of the complex ecosystems and the mechanisms and climatic controls of sedimentary transfer processes in cold environments. More reliable modelling of sediment transfer processes operating under present-day climatic settings is needed to determine the consequences of predicted climate change. It is necessary to collect and to compare data and knowledge from a wide range of different high latitude and high altitude environments and to develop more standardized methods and approaches for future research on sediment fluxes and relationships between climate and sedimentary transfer processes. More
Three years, from January 2004 to December 2006.