Advancing the Concept of Essential Mountain Climate Variables (EMCVs) 
28.04.2023 | 13:30 –
28.04.2023 | 18:00
28.04.2023 | 13:30 – 18:00

A workshop coordinated by the MRI and iLEAPS during EGU23 as a contribution to GEO Mountains

Mountain climates and related Earth System components are changing rapidly, with major consequences for ecosystems and people. All efforts to mitigate and adapt to the adverse consequences of these changes – and conversely to exploit the opportunities that they will bring – must be underpinned by timely, accurate, and informative Earth Observations that reflect the mountain context (e.g. steep and complex terrain). 

In 2021, a set of climate and environmental variables (the so-called Essential Mountain Climate Variables; EMCVs) were first proposed that, if the corresponding datasets could be obtained in a consistent manner across the world’s mountains, should lead to substantial advancements in the monitoring, understanding, and prediction of climate change and its impacts in and near mountains (Thornton et al., 2021). However, much further coordination and consultation work remains to be undertaken if such a framework is to be deemed suitable and useful, and eventually taken up, by the global community of mountain researchers, practitioners, and policymakers. 

This workshop, coordinated by the MRI and iLEAPS during EGU23 as a contribution to GEO Mountains, therefore represents a second interdisciplinary workshop on the subject. The event aims to (i) ensure that disciplinary and geographical representation in the consultation processes to date is enhanced, (ii) identify and further specify an initial list of EMCV, iii) identify specific observation requirements for these variables, and (iii) evaluate the extent to which existing datasets (including those provided by the ESA and other space agencies) meet these articulated needs. Given the limited time available, it is intended that the workshop will act as a “launch” of a subsequent online consultation / collaboration process that will seek to make further progress. 

The workshop is free (refreshments will be provided, but participants must cover their own travel and accommodation; it is expected that most attendees will already be in Vienna for the EGU).

Since places for physical attendees are limited, we invite applications to attend via this form. We encourage applications from Early Career Researchers (ERCs) and those from under-represented regions or disciplines. It will also be possible to join the meeting remotely via Zoom (for organisational purposes, registration is also required in this case; please use the same form).



13:30 – 13:45: Welcome and introductions

13:45 – 14:15: Essential Mountain Climate Variables: The State of Play – Dr. James Thornton, MRI & GEO Mountains

14:15 – 14:45:  Coupled water-energy-carbon processes over the Yellow River source area on the Tibetan Plateau: Observations and modeling, current status, and future directions – Dr. Xianhong Meng, Chinese Academy of Sciences & iLEAPS

14:45 – 15:05: EUMETSAT’s contribution to climate studies: an overview –Dr. Rob Roebeling, EUMETSAT

15:05 – 15:15: Introduction to the group tasks

15:15 – 15:45: Coffee break

15:45 – 17:00: Breakout group discussions

17:00 – 17:45: Plenary reporting

17:45 – 18:00: Summary, conclusions & next steps


The deadline for applications for in-person attendance is 22 March 2023. You will be informed whether your application has been successful within one week of that date. Online applications are accepted until 1 week before the event. 

Apply now

Reference:  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. doi: 10.1016/j.oneear.2021.05.005 

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Cover image by Jacek Dylag