Members of research cluster 3, ‘Glaciers, Snow and Hydrology’, successfully completed their second visit to Kyzylsu since the start of PAMIR. This time, the joint Tajik-Swiss expedition team also included a professional photographer, Jason Klimatsas, who documented the scientific work and captured unique shots of Tajikistan’s glaciated landscapes.

The weather provided very good working conditions and the group was able to revisit many of the previously installed meteorological and hydrological stations as well as re-drill mass balance stakes in the glacier ablation area. Supraglacial debris properties were surveyed with numerous thickness measurements, and temporary weather stations were installed to later derive values of aerodynamic roughness.

A parallel expedition took place as part of a UNESCO project coordinated by members of cluster 5 “Cryospheric Hazards”, aiming at starting the monitoring of supraglacial lakes on the neighboring Baralmos glacier, using lake level loggers, ground temperature sensors and time-lapse cameras.

Group photo of the field team taken just before starting the field campaign. © Jason Klimatsas

PAMIR scientists from research cluster 5 (Cryospheric Hazards) just completed a joint expedition with research cluster 4 (Microbial Biogeochemistry) to the Yakarcha catchment area.

Their objective was to study the impact of recent climate change on the Yakarcha Rock Glacier through a multidisciplinary approach, involving phytosociology (detailed vegetation surveys), Remote Sensing (drone images), IR photos and Electrical Resistivity Tomography.

PAMIR scientists also completed a successful GPR survey of Yakarcha Glacier, only the second including ice thickness measurements in Tajikistan.

PAMIR PIs Francesca Pellicciotti and Martin Hoelzle met on 1 June 2023 with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Tajikistan Sirojiddin Muhriddin to discuss the importance of their Flagship Programme in the scope of “2025 – International Year of Glaciers’ Preservation” adopted at the 77th session of the UN General Assembly.

An account of that meeting is given on the Ministry’s home page and their respective social media channels:

Header photograph: © Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Tajikistan, all rights reserved

The SPI Flagship Programme PAMIR had its official Kick-Off in Dushanbe on 1 June 2023 and the event turned to a great success. Thanks go to all the numerous participants for their support in making this possible. This event enabled the PAMIR programme to strengthen active and developing partnerships and to open new doors with local scientific partners as well as with the Swiss Cooperation Office (SCO) and the Tajik Government. A short video prepared by the SCO touches on some of the highlights of the event.

Header photograph: © Swiss Cooperation Office – Tajikistan , all rights reserved

Following the acknowledgement the Tajikistan-led UN initiative declaring 2025 as the International year of glacier preservation, the National Academy of Sciences of Tajikistan (NAST) and the Swiss Polar Institute (SPI) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on 10 May 2023. This event paves the way to new synergies and collaboration opportunities between Tajik and Swiss early career and senior researchers.

The PAMIR Flagship Initiative is at the core of this collaboration as the framework for the sharing of resources and mountain glacier infrastructures, as well as for the organisation of various joint outreach events, such as co-organised conferences, exhibitions and workshops focused on mountain cryosphere, hydrology and climate change.

Header photograph: © Matthieu Tordeur, all rights reserved