The MRI has been working on issues surrounding elevation-dependent climate change since 2012. It began its activities through assessing  assessing if, where, to what extent, and why mountains and other high elevation regions of the world are warming more rapidly than lowlands. The Elevation-Dependent Climate Change (EDCC) Working Group was formerly known as “Elevation-Dependent Warming Working Group” but has since expanded its interest and work from warming to include additional climate processes specific to mountains and high elevation regions. This includes, but is not limited to, precipitation and cryospheric processes (snow cover, snow albedo, snowline), vertical aerosol distribution, and changes in ecological zonation, for example.

 

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Key Working Group Details

This Working Group was created in 2014 and is in its third phase (2020-2021). 

The EDCC Working Group works in close collaboration with the MRI Mountain Observatories Working Group and its work provides information for objectives and tasks of the current GEO-GNOME Implementation Plan (2020-2022).

 

Working Group Lead

Find a full list of members here.

 

Outputs and Achievements to date

  • PUBLICATION | TOWARD A DEFINITION OF ESSENTIAL MOUNTAIN CLIMATE VARIABLES

    Thornton, J.M., Palazzi, E., Pepin, N.C., Cristofanelli, P., Essery, R., Kotlarski, S., Giuliani, G., Guigoz, Y., Kulonen, A., Pritchard, D., Li, X., Fowler, H.J., Randin, C.F., Shahgedanova, M., Steinbacher, M., Zebisch, M., and Adler, C. (2021). Toward a definition of Essential Mountain Climate Variables. One Earth, 4(6). doi: 10.1016/j.oneear.2021.05.005

  • PUBLICATION | ELEVATION-DEPENDENT WARMING IN MOUNTAIN REGIONS OF THE WORLD 

Mountain Research Initiative EDW Working Group

N. Pepin, R. S. Bradley, H. F. Diaz, M. Baraer, E. B. Caceres, N. Forsythe, H. Fowler, G. Greenwood, M. Z. Hashmi, X. D. Liu, J. R. Miller, L. Ning, A. Ohmura, E. Palazzi, I. Rangwala, W. Schöner, I. Severskiy, M. Shahgedanova, M. B. Wang, S. N. Williamson & D. Q. Yang. 'Elevation-dependent warming in mountain regions of the world' in Nature Climate Change 5, 424–430 (2015).

  •  ASSOCIATED PUBLICATION | Many members of the group contributed to the high mountain analysis and specific section on elevation-dependent warming in the IPCC SROCC High Mountains Chapter (2): 

Hock, R., G. Rasul, C. Adler, B. Cáceres, S. Gruber, Y. Hirabayashi, M. Jackson, A. Kääb, S. Kang, S. Kutuzov, A. Milner, U. Molau, S. Morin, B. Orlove, and H. Steltzer, 2019: High Mountain Areas. In: IPCC Special Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate [H.-O. Pörtner, D.C. Roberts, V. Masson-Delmotte, P. Zhai, M. Tignor, E. Poloczanska, K. Mintenbeck, A. Alegría, M. Nicolai, A. Okem, J. Petzold, B. Rama, N.M. Weyer (eds.)]. In press.

 

Planned Activities and Outputs for 2021-2022 

        • A synthesis paper on the evidence for mountain climate change is currently under review. The paper takes a global approach to try and examine whether temperature and precipitation elevational gradients are changing. The evidence includes a meta-study of mountain studies referred to in the High Mountain Chapter of IPCC SROCC (see earlier output), coupled with extensive analyses of global gridded datasets. The synthesis paper was the result of an EGU side event on Mountain Meteorology and Climatology held in April 2019.  
        • A splinter event, 'Developing protocols for measuring long-term climate changes over elevation gradients,' is proposed  to take place at AGU in New Orleans, USA, in December 2021. This will discuss to what extent common standards of climate measurement can be agreed upon for the numerous networks that already exist across mountain gradients. While certain minimum specifications may be desirable, the overall tenet is to be inclusive of different financial budgets, and encourage metadata provision and data sharing.
        • Looking forward to a time when we can meet in person again, a two-day workshop, 'From Elevation Dependent Warming to Elevation-Dependent Climate Change,' is proposed to take place, supported by the MRI, in May/June 2022. This will develop discussions on the complex theories that control all aspects of climate change at high elevations, in particular, changing elevation gradients in precipitation; snow parameters (albedo, SWE, snowmelt, snow cover, snow duration); humidity; radiation fluxes; etc. It is expected that this will lead to a theoretical research output, in a similar vein to the EDW Nature Climate Change Paper, which has been highly cited. 
        • In collaboration with the MRI Mountain Observatories Working Group, the EDCC and GEO Mountains are developing developing an inventory of predominantly research-oriented in situ mountain observation infrastructure, continuing and expanding the legacy of GNOMO. Of particular focus for this group is the many transects across elevation gradients that currently exist. 


 

EDCC News

TOWARD A DEFINITION OF ESSENTIAL MOUNTAIN CLIMATE VARIABLES (2 June 2021)

A new article published in the journal One Earth proposes a set of potential Essential Mountain Climate Variables to support the monitoring and understanding of key climate change-related mountain processes. The article builds upon a workshop organized by GEO Mountains and hosted by the MRI.

Read more here
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UPDATES FROM THE MRI WORKING GROUPS (24 February 2021)

Despite the challenges of 2020, and 2021 so far, the five MRI Working Groups have exciting updates to report!

Read more here. 

MRI WORKING GROUP NEWS | FROM ELEVATION-DEPENDENT WARMING TO ELEVATION-DEPENDENT CLIMATE CHANGE (28 April 2020)

The MRI Working Group “Elevation-Dependent Warming” expands its scope of work to include climate processes in addition to warming, and therefore announces a name change to “Elevation-Dependent Climate Change”.

Read more here. 

MRI AT THE AGU FALL MEETING (17 December 2019)

This year, the famous AGU Fall Meeting returned to San Francisco for the AGU’s Centennial Celebrations, gathering nearly 30,000 geoscientists – among them a great number of mountain-oriented researchers. During the AGU week, the MRI organized scientific sessions and a side-event workshop that offered mountain researchers a chance to connect and engage in discussion on mountain climate research.

Read more here.

GEO-GNOME WORKSHOP ON ESSENTIAL CLIMATE VARIABLES FOR MOUNTAINS (30 September 2019)

The working group lead nick Pepin participated as a moderator and presented plans of the Elevation-dependent Warming Working Group at the GEO-GNOME ‘Essential Climate Variables for Observations in Mountains’.

Read more here.

MAKING CONNECTIONS AT THE EGU GENERAL ASSEMBLY 2019 (24 May 2019)

Last month, the MRI was present at the European Geosciences Union General Assembly 2019, held in Vienna between 8-12 April. During the week, we attended a number of events that provided opportunities to further connect and bring the mountain research community together at one of the largest, and key, meets for the geosciences research community in Europe.

Read more here.  


How to Join

As community-led activities, these Working Groups are open to anyone from the MRI network to participate and contribute to the Working Group’s work plan. Early career researchers (typically up to 5 years since attaining a postgraduate degree), women, and researchers and practitioners from developing countries and less represented mountain regions are particularly encouraged to join and participate. Please contact the Working Group leads to seek information on how to join:

Subscribe to the Elevation-Dependent Working Group mailing list here.

 

 

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