Interdisciplinary environmental and socio-economic observations in the world’s mountains: Identifying solutions to key challenges
22.04.2021 | 15:30 –
22.04.2021 | 17:00
22.04.2021 | 15:30 – 17:00

MRI & GEO Mountains splinter meeting at vEGU 2021

Convener James Thornton and organizers Carolina Adler, Elisa Palazzi, Maria Shahgedanova, and Nick Pepin invite the mountain research community to a splinter meeting at vEGU 2021: Gather Online

Bringing the complementary expertise and perspectives of mountain scientists from across regions and disciplines together to discuss outstanding challenges is beginning to drive substantial progress in science, practice, and policy. This splinter meeting, convened by the MRI and GEO Mountains, intends to further strengthen these efforts by providing a forum in which to discuss – and hopefully collectively identify feasible and practical solutions to – a series of broad challenges that have been identified through work recently carried out under the auspices of the MRI and/or GEO Mountains.

The following questions summarise some of the challenges that have been identified: 

  • How can we help improve the density of in situ monitoring instrumentation where this has been identified to be comparatively lacking (e.g. the mountains of Africa, South America, and Asia, and along transects across wide elevation gradients)? 
  • How can the ongoing shift from thematic to multi-disciplinary observations at mountain sites be accelerated? 
  • How can we collect and make available appropriate metadata on existing mountain networks and how should we best advocate for / incentivise the free and open sharing of existing datasets? 
  • How can greater emphasis be placed on obtaining useful socio-economic data in mountainous regions which, whilst critical, is currently often overlooked at the expense of biophysical data? 
  • How appropriate are global gridded environmental datasets (which can provide extensive spatial coverage) in mountainous applications, given that their spatial resolution may be limited and/or their reliability compromised in complex terrain? 
  • From a preliminary set of so-called Essential Mountain Climate Variables, how should we go about formalizing a pragmatic set of so-called Essential Mountain Climate Variables and their associated observation requirements? 

The splinter meeting format will combine both plenary and break-out group discussions using an online virtual tool. All interested parties are warmly welcomed to attend and share their views on these important questions. 

The outcomes of the discussion will represent important contributions from the community to the activities of the MRI’s Working Groups and GEO Mountains, and will accordingly be integrated into the work programmes and fully acknowledged. Conversely, we expect these discussions to inspire new collaborations and prospects for individual researchers – especially early career researchers – who wish to contribute to and be given recognition for participation in this collective effort. 

For any questions, please contact GEO Mountains Scientific Project Officer, Dr. James Thornton (  Find more information about the splinter meeting here. Find more information about the MRI at vEGU 2021: Gather Online here.

Cover image by Reinhold Silbermann.