Global News

Dust blowing onto high mountains in the western Himalayas is a bigger factor than previously thought in hastening the melting of snow there, researchers show in a study published Oct. 5 in Nature Climate Change.

That’s because dust— lots of it in the Himalayas— absorbs sunlight, heating the snow that surrounds it.  

“It turns out that dust blowing hundreds of miles from parts of Africa and Asia and landing at very high elevations has a broad impact on the snow cycle in a region that is home to one of the largest masses of snow and ice on Earth,” said Yun Qian, atmospheric scientist at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.

Some of Europe’s native butterflies may have to be moved to colder climes if they are to survive global warming, a new study suggests.

The University of York study tracked the impact of changes in climate on the genetic diversity of the mountain ringlet butterfly over the 21,000 years since the last ice age. The study suggests that future conservationists may have to evacuate some populations of butterflies to cooler habitats, higher up in mountains or further north in places including Scotland, Scandinavia, and the Alps.

Welcome to our October 2020 round-up of new publications! This list, updated each week, contains articles relevant to mountain research that you won't want to miss this month.

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Future Earth is an international platform for research, innovation, and collaboration, working to accelerate transformations to a sustainable world. Among its many functions and activities, it also fosters strategic partnerships with international organizations that support this mission, such as the Mountain Research Initiative, with whom a Memorandum of Understanding was signed in 2016.

In the below article – originally published on the Future Earth website – the Interim Executive Director of Future Earth, Josh Tewksbury, reflects on Future Earth’s activities in response to global grand challenges, and offers an outlook on what can be expected from the organisation in view of its current leadership and institutional transition. This follows from the recent Future Earth Summit, which took place virtually between 15-17 June 2020, to review the relationship between the Future Earth Secretariat, advisory, and governing structures and the Future Earth community, which includes the MRI. Future Earth has a microsite available, in which regular updates regarding this transition process are published. Take a look here.

The International Science Council (ISC) is seeking nominations for the first edition of the ISC Awards Programme. 

The deadline for nominations is 1 February 2021. 

At the 2020 Albert Mountain Awards ceremony in Bern, the WSL Institute for Snow and Avalanche Research SLF was recognized for its outstanding contribution to avalanche prevention. Other recipients of the 2020 awards were the magazine L'Alpe and the Swiss musician Christian Zehnder. 

The King Albert I Memorial Foundation Albert Mountain Awards take place every two years, and are granted to people and institutions that have made exceptional and lasting contributions to the preservation of the mountains of the world – whether through research, conservation, development, arts and culture, or mountaineering.

Mobilizing global sustainable science action is imperative if we are to realize the 2030 Agenda. The International Science Council is currently running a call for inputs to shape a priority action agenda for science. Deadline for participation is 2 October 2020

With just ten years to go to achieve the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the UN’s 2030 Agenda, science funders from around the world have asked the International Science Council (ISC) to convene the insights and ideas of the broader global scientific community on the critical priorities for science that will support and enable societies to accomplish the goals by 2030. The ISC is looking to hear from scientists in all fields and all disciplines, including the natural, social, and human sciences.

As part of the MRI's mission to promote global change mountain research, we are excited to bring visibility to the six projects that form the Belmont Forum’s ‘Mountains as Sentinels of Change’ program by highlighting a different one each month.

What are the key factors that enabled a successful water fund in Colombia to work with over 1000 families to protect more than 2000 km of streams and conserve or restore nearly 10,000 ha of forest – even in the broader context of armed conflict and widespread distrust? This month's featured project from the Belmont Forum's 'Mountains as Sentinels of Change' program is ClimateWIse. Read this blog post – first published on The Nature Conservancy's 'Cool Green Science' website – for a glimpse into their activities.

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