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The rate at which ice is disappearing across the planet is speeding up, according to new research led by scientists from the University of Leeds and published in the journal The Cryosphere.

The findings also reveal that the Earth lost 28 trillion tonnes of ice between 1994 and 2017 –  equivalent to a sheet of ice 100 metres thick covering the whole of the UK.

The research is the first of its kind to carry out a survey of global ice loss using satellite data.

Registration to participate in the external review of the second order draft of the IPBES Values Assessment and the first order draft of the Summary for Policymakers is now open. The review period runs from 20 January to 19 March 2021.

The Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) has issued a call for expert reviewers for the IPBES Values Assessment, a methodological assessment regarding the diverse conceptualization of multiple values of nature and its benefits, including biodiversity and ecosystem functions and services.

A capacity-building project coordinated by the University of Bayreuth is working to develop scientifically-based further education programs in Tanzania in order to develop the next generation of experts needed to ensure the long-term preservation of the country's biodiversity.

Biodiversity is a central ecological and economic resource for Tanzania, thanks to its extensive nature reserves. For its long-term preservation, the East African country needs experts who can develop and implement effective strategies and measures. As part of a new project funded by the EU to the tune of up to € 790,000, the University of Bayreuth is working towards establishing commensurate courses of study at universities in Tanzania. In doing so, it will work closely with European and Tanzanian partners in research and on the ground.

Inspiring Girls Expeditions empower young women to lead and succeed through science, art, and wilderness exploration. 16- and 17-year-old girls* are now invited to apply to participate in free wilderness science expeditions in Alaska, Washington, Colorado, Canada, Switzerland, and Austria. 

These expeditions offer participants a chance to spend 12 days walking on glaciers, sea kayaking in icy fjords, scrambling on rocks, or paddling down a boreal forest river with like-minded teens and instructors. Applicants do not need any prior outdoor experience for these expeditions, which interweave science, art, and outdoor exploration. Learn more about eligibility requirements on the Inspiring Girls website

The overarching theme of the 34th International Geographical Congress is 'Geography: Bridging the Continents.' The Congress will explore many areas relevant to mountain research, and includes a number of mountain-specific sessions. Abstract submission is now open and closes 11 January 2021.

The 34th International Geographical Congress will take place in Istanbul, Turkey from 16-20 August 2021. The Congress aims to focus on six key topics: Globalization vs Localization; Climate Change; Migration and Conflicts; Earth and Disasters; Eurasia and Middle East Studies; and Anthropocene. 

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) will open the Second-Order Draft of the Working Group II contribution to the Sixth Assessment Report (AR6) government and expert review next week, which includes a dedicated Cross-Chapter Paper on Mountains. The review runs from 4 December to midnight Central European Time on 29 January 2021. Registration for experts opened on 27 November and will be possible until midnight CET on 22 January. Registration details are here.

The UNESCO’s Man and the Biosphere (MAB) Programme has decided to relaunch the World Network of Mountain Biosphere Reserves to involve all actors working in mountain biosphere reserves, including a collaboration with the MRI to support the needs of this network in the short-medium to long-term. Parties interested in participating in this network are invited to complete a short survey to support the effective development of the network's structure. 

UNESCO’s Man and the Biosphere (MAB) Programme is an intergovernmental scientific programme that aims to establish a scientific basis for enhancing the relationship between people and their environments. It combines the natural and social sciences with a view to improving human livelihoods and safeguarding natural and managed ecosystems, thus promoting innovative approaches to economic development that are socially and culturally appropriate and environmentally sustainable.

In the second in a series of videos produced as part of the Global Change in Mountain Ecosystems (GloMEc) project, Prof. Dirk S. Schmeller, Axa Chair for Functional Mountain Ecology at ENSAT, discusses the intensified climate-change induced warming and weather extremes being seen in mountain regions. 

Mountains – A Fragile Source of Life is a new short video series that aims to delve into different aspects of mountains and why they are important for human society. In this second episode, Mountains – Sentinels of Change, Prof. Schmeller looks at the rapid changes in temperature and much higher variations in daily temperatures mountain regions are experiencing compared to lowland regions. What does this mean for the unique species living in these harsh yet fragile environments and indeed for all of us who rely on the ecosystem services these species support?

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