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Glaciologists at ETH Zurich and the Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow, and Landscape Research WSL assessed the global water storage and hydropower potential that could be freed up in future as glaciers melt in response to climate change.

Global warming will cause substantial glacier retreat for the majority of the world’s glaciers over the next few decades. This will not only spell the end for some magnificent natural monuments, but also importantly affect the water cycle. In high-​mountain regions, these ice masses act as reservoirs feeding water to large river systems, and balancing seasonal discharges.

The Tibetan Plateau – known as the 'Asian water tower' because of its huge water storage capacity in glaciers – has a profound impact on local and downstream ecosystems. However, it is a challenge to establish and maintain in situ observations there due to the complex terrain. Thanks to satellite technology, scientists may have found a substitute.

In sharp contrast with the importance of the 'Asian water tower', sufficient in situ observations in the Tibetan Plateau have been lacking due to the complex terrain. Satellite and reanalysis datasets may offer an alternative, as outlined in new research from the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

Palaeontologists look to the fossil record to come up with a new strategy to save the endangered mountain pygmy-possum from becoming a climate change casualty.

Scientists have come up with a radical plan to save the critically endangered mountain pygmy-possum: take some from their alpine habitat and introduce them to a warmer, lowland rainforest environment.

In a new study published in Royal Society’s Philosophical Transactions B, researchers from University of New South Wales (UNSW) Sydney use fossil evidence going back 25 million years to argue that the mountain pygmy-possum (Burramys parvus) is a species living on the fringes of what its biological ancestors would have enjoyed as a more temperate, less extreme environment.

A High Mountain Summit has issued a Call for Action in the face of rapid melting of the Earth’s frozen peaks and the consequences for food, water, and human security, as well as for ecosystems, the environment, and economies.

The three-day summit, convened by the World Meteorological Organization and a wide range of partners, identified priority actions to support more sustainable development, disaster risk reduction, and climate change adaptation both in high-mountain areas and downstream.

The Mountain Research Initiative is deeply saddened by the death of Esther Mwangi, Principal Scientist with Forests and Governance at the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) and a highly valued and active member of the MRI Science Leadership Council.

Esther Mwangi was a researcher, environmentalist, and public policy expert whose work explored gender and land-rights inequalities in relation to natural resources.

Taking place in Vienna, Austria 3–8 May 2020, the EGU 2020 General Assembly will bring together geoscientists from all over the world to explore all disciplines of the Earth, planetary, and space sciences. This year, there are a number of exciting, mountain-related sessions – including three convened by representatives of the MRI.

The EGU aims to provide a forum where scientists, especially early-career scientists (ECS), can present their work and discuss their ideas with experts in all fields of geoscience. Abstract submissions are now invited for all sessions, including those being convened by representatives from the MRI. 

Deadline for abstract submissions is 15 January 2020

This MRI-funded synthesis workshop took place in the context of the International Mountain Conference (IMC) 2019 – held in September in Innsbruck, Austria – and aimed to deepen discussions initiated during an Open Think Tank earlier that week at the same location on the development of the first Mountain Resilience Report.

Bringing together leading scholars from academia and practice, this post-IMC synthesis workshop took place on 13 September 2019 and laid the foundations for the design and development of a resilience report for mountain regions. The specific resilience angle of this workshop was on understanding and incubating innovative capacities to create and implement effective, real-world solutions and build regenerative mountain systems.

Between 1-3 September 2019, 14 researchers representing eight countries – Spain, France, Switzerland, UK, Sweden, Norway, Peru, Australia – came together in Sopuerta, Spain. Their purpose? To synthesize the knowledge resulting from existing transformation initiatives and Nature Based Solutions (NBS) that are emerging in response to global change in mountains.

The workshop, which was funded by the MRI as part of its 2019 Call for Synthesis Workshops, had several aims: Firstly, to develop a framework to assess the process and outcomes of transformative change in mountains; secondly, to test the framework through a series of case studies in which participants have broad working experience; and thirdly, to create a research plan, as well as an outline for a publication, and to allocate tasks to move towards the aims of TRANSMOUNT in the coming months.

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