Global News

The Pyrenean Climate Change Observatory has begun the second phase of the development of the Pyrenean Climate Change Strategy. The mountain research community are invited to participate in the process by contributing their experience and knowledge through an online survey.

The Pyrenees is a mountain bioregion particularly vulnerable to the effects of climate change. Seven regional climate change policies from three countries converge in this territory, comprised of two EU Member States and one third country.

The International Union for Conservation of Nature have announced a unique partnership with the Swiss National Park, the non-profit partner Porini Foundation, and technology business partner Huawei Switzerland, which aims to enhance nature conservation effectiveness in the Swiss National Park by deploying cutting-edge technology solutions.

Under the umbrella of Huawei’s TECH4ALL initiative, IUCN and Huawei have jointly launched the global Tech4Nature partnership. Tech4Nature aims to provide knowledge, technology, and resources for protected areas worldwide, with the aim of making nature conservation globally more effective and impactful. Tech4Nature will pilot new and customised digital technologies to enhance the impact of conservation at flagship sites across five countries. As a result, it will be possible to evaluate conservation success in 300 protected areas worldwide using the IUCN Green List Standard, as well as to use the Standard for guidance on the appropriate use of technology to support nature conservation, through this growing partnership.

A memorandum of understanding between the Science for the Carpathians (S4C) and the Scientific Network for the Caucasus Mountain Region (SNC-mt) aims to support closer links between researchers and institutions across the two regions.

On the 24th of June, during the Forum Carpaticum 2021, the Mountain Research Initiative was invited to witness the signing of a memorandum of understanding between the Science for the Carpathians (S4C) and the Scientific Network for the Caucasus Mountain Region (SNC-mt). The aim of this new cooperation is to facilitate the exchange of information, experiences, and success stories between the two networks, as well as to develop, finance, and implement joint activities going forwards.

Climate change is causing mountain snow to melt more rapidly and glaciers to shrink, with a widely varied impact on water supplies in Asia according to a new paper published in the journal Science.

These effects are altering the water supplies of more than one billion people who depend on rivers that have their headwaters in the Himalayan and Karakoram mountain ranges, according to the new paper 'Glaciohydrology of the Himalaya-Karakoram' that appeared in Science this month. 

The newly formed Global Network for Geoscience and Society (GNGS) seeks the mountain research community's input. 

The GNGS will address aspects of science-policy while also highlighting non-policy-related opportunities for civic-minded geoscientists to address societal challenges related to natural resource exploitation, environmental contamination, natural hazards, and climate change. 

In a peer-reviewed workshop report on biodiversity and climate change published earlier this month, global experts identify key options for solutions in first-ever collaboration between IPBES and IPCC selected scientists. The report highlights a number of instances in which climate change and biodiversity loss are key interacting issues for mountain regions. 

Unprecedented changes in climate and biodiversity, driven by human activities, have combined and increasingly threaten nature, human lives, livelihoods and well-being around the world. Biodiversity loss and climate change are both driven by human economic activities and mutually reinforce each other. Neither will be successfully resolved unless both are tackled together. This is the message of a workshop report, published earlier this month by 50 of the world’s leading biodiversity and climate experts.

Some four months ago, a devastating flood ravaged the Chamoli district in the Indian Himalayas, killing over 200 people. The flood was caused by a massive landslide, which also involved a glacier. Researchers at the University of Zurich, the WSL and ETH Zurich have now analyzed the causes, scope, and impact of the disaster as part of an international collaboration.

On 7 February 2021, a massive wall of rock and ice collapsed and formed a debris flow that barreled down the Rishiganga and Dhauliganga river valleys, leaving a trail of devastation. The flood took more than 200 lives and destroyed two hydropower plants as well as several roads and bridges. A large international team including researchers from the University of Zurich (UZH), the Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research (WSL) and the ETH Zurich came together immediately after the disaster and began to investigate the cause and scope of the flood and landslide. Their study used satellite imagery, digital models of the terrain, seismic data and video footage to reconstruct the event with the help of computer models.

With global warming decreasing the size of New Zealand’s alpine zone, a University of Otago study found out what this means for the altitude-loving kea.

The study, published in Molecular Ecology, analysed whole genome DNA data of the kea and, for the first time, its forest-adapted sister species, the kākā, to identify genomic differences which cause their habitat specialisations.

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