MRI News

Last month, over 1,200 participants registered and connected from 37 different countries to participate in the inaugural virtual conference on 'Climate Change, Health and Mountain Ecosystems and their Governance in Support of Sustainable Development in the Tropical Andes Region - Central America (Andes +)', hosted by the Cluster of Cooperation Conéctate A+ network. The conference was a key opportunity to connect and foster a virtual dialogue and exchange, despite these challenging times for research and collaboration due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Within the framework of the Conéctate A+ network – and facilitated by CONDESAN, the Mountain Research Initiative (MRI) and the University of Zurich – the online conference took place over two days from 7 to 8 July 2020. The objective of this conference was to facilitate an exchange between relevant disciplinary and interdisciplinary researchers, and showcase evidence of practices that help overcome barriers that impede the successful implementation of policies in favour of sustainable development, human health, ecosystem protection, and adaptation to climate change in the Andes+ region. Through this event, the Conéctate A+ network sought to promote prospects and ideas for collaboration, advance current knowledge debates, and stocktake and showcase the accumulated experience on the conference topics among the different communities of practice in the Andes+ region.

To encourage the next generation of mountain scientists to participate in the IPCC’s important work, the MRI has collaborated with several partners to organize two group reviews of the IPCC Sixth Assessment Report (AR6) specifically for early career researchers (ECRs). To date, these joint efforts have resulted in the submission of over 3,000 review comments to the IPCC by over 200 ECRs.

Most researchers are familiar with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reports, but the processes leading to these assessments may seem distant. Who are the experts producing them? What kind of workflows lead to them? And who is experienced enough to submit review comments to draft versions? In order to address these and other such questions, since 2018 the MRI has been actively involved in building the capacity of the next generation of mountain experts, offering a glimpse behind the scenes and helping ECRs to understand and engage in IPCC processes.

MRI, alongside the Association of Polar Early Career Scientists (APECS), the Past Global Changes Early Career Network (PAGES ECN), the Permafrost Young Research Network (PYRN) and the Young Earth System Scientists (YESS) community, are calling for early career researchers to participate in a group review of the Second Order Draft (SOD) of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Sixth Assessment Report (AR6).

The WGII contribution to the IPCC AR6 is due to be finalized in 2021. The SOD of the IPCC AR6 WGII report will be open for expert review from 4 December 2020 to 29 January 2021.

In the past weeks GEO-GNOME has been actively connecting with the Group on Earth Observations' flagship activity Biodiversity Observation Network (GEO BON) by participating and presenting at the recent GEO BON Open Science Conference and All Hands Meeting. In the closing session of the conference, the five grantees under the GEO BON - Microsoft Call “EBVs on the cloud” were announced, with GEO-GNOME among them. The grant provides funding and computing capacity to further develop ecosystem level Essential Biodiversity Variables for mountains. 

This year’s GEO Symposium was held virtually between the 15-19 June 2020, with many of the topics discussed having relevance for both the Global Network for Observations and Information in Mountain Environments (GEO-GNOME) and the mountain research community as a whole.

In this article, a brief overview of selected recent developments and emerging trends is given; video recordings of the full presentations can be viewed here (click on the "more details" button for each session).

Organised by the Conéctate A+ network, the programme for the online conference on Climate Change, Health and Mountain Ecosystems and their Governance in Support of Sustainable Development in the Tropical Andes – Central America Region (Andes+), to be held on 7-8 July 2020, is now available and registrations are open for virtual participation. 

We are excited to officially announce the launch of the newly founded “Adaptation at Altitude: Taking Action in the Mountains” programme, in which MRI’s flagship activity GEO-GNOME will play an important role in identifying and improving mountain data access.

The Fall Meeting 2020 of the American Geophysical Union (AGU) will be largely virtual from 7-11 December 2020. With more than 1000 sessions, the Fall Meeting will remain the global convening meeting for the Earth and space sciences community. There are a number of exciting, mountain-related sessions, including two convened by the MRI.

Abstract submission is now open and the deadline for all submissions is Wednesday 29 July 2020.

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