From ice to microorganisms and humans: Toward an interdisciplinary understanding of climate change impacts on the Third Pole (PAMIR)

The Pamir Mountains supply water to an arid region stretching to the Aral Sea, and buffer seasonal water shortage with snow, glacier and permafrost thaw. However, the state and response of Pamir cryosphere to climate change remains poorly understood due to a lack of measurements in the past several decades. A Swiss Polar Institute Flagship Programme, PAMIR assembles a consortium of Swiss, Tajik, and international scientists around six research clusters. Together, we will gather data ranging from ice to microbes to human memory, collecting new measurements to study climate change impacts on the cryosphere and the downstream implications, including hydrology, geohazards, microbial ecosystems, humans, and the history of cryospheric research and generate milestone knowledge for hazards, ecosystems and water resources management in the region. PAMIR is led by Francesca Pellicciotti (WSL) and Martin Hoelzle (UniFr), with additional clusters led by researchers at PSI, EPFL, UniZ, and UniFr.