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Our working group

Specialists in northern soils had international contacts for several decades. However, the First International Conference on Cryopedology was held only 25 years ago - in November, 1992 in Pushchino, Russia. On that meeting the group of soil scientists soils from different countries - USA (R.Arnold, J.Kimble, R.Ahrens, C.-L.Ping, J.Brown), Canada (C.Tarnocai, S.Smith), Denmark (B.Jakobsen), Germany (G.Broll, E.M.Pfeiffer) and Russia (I.Sokolov, V.Targulian, E.Naumov, D.Gilichinsky) decided to organize the Cryosol Working Group both at International Society of Soil Science (ISSS, now IUSS) and International Permafrost Association (IPA), mainly to develop the new classification units for permafrost-affected soils and Northern Circumpolar Soil Database with series of maps. Now the Cryosol Working Group is very active team of polar soil scientists from Canada, China, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Russia and USA. The information on the members of the group is here.

Every year the CWG has several meetings to discuss different activities. Every 4 years the group organizes the International Conferences on
Cryopedology. The last were held in 2009 in Ulan-Ude, Buryatia region, Russia and in 2013 in Krakow, Poland. The next will be held in 2017 in Yakutsk, Sakha Republic, Russia.

Cryosol Working Group developed the diagnostics and taxonomy of permafrost-affected soils for the World Reference Base for Soil Resources and for the US Soil Taxonomy. It also completed the first version of the Northern Circumpolar Soil Database. In 2004 the Cryosol book was published. Besides classification and databases, CWG is also focused on the role of cryogenesis in the soil formation, the ecological problems relevant to northern soils and the consequences of the global climate change for polar soils.