MRI News

Under the theme 'Global Action for Local Impact,' the GEO Virtual Symposium 2022 explored how the portfolio of Group on Earth Observations (GEO) products and services can provide insights and evidence for policy development and decision making.

Dr. James Thornton contributed views from GEO Mountains regarding our current and possible future integration with the Group on Earth Observations System of Systems (GEOSS), including the functionality that the GEOSS Portal would have to possess to be most useful to our community.

As authors of the recent IPCC Working Group II report Climate Change 2022: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability,  MRI Executive Director Carolina Adler and MRI Principal Investigator Christian Huggel were among the researchers invited to the Swiss Parliament for an exchange with politicians on the challenges of the climate and biodiversity crisis. 

At the beginning of May, at the invitation of Swiss National Council President Irène Kälin and Swiss Council of States President Thomas Hefti, scientists working in Switzerland and authors of the recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) reports met with the Swiss Parliament for an exchange on the latest science.

Taking place on 28 April 2022, the launch event of the International Year of Sustainable Mountain Development aimed to raise awareness of the importance of mountains for sustainable development. MRI Executive Director Carolina Adler was among the speakers, presenting the main results of the recent IPCC report on impacts, adaptation, and vulnerability, and on ways to use this knowledge towards climate resilient development in mountains.

Mountains are home to 15 percent of the world’s population and host about half of the world’s biodiversity hotspots. They provide freshwater for everyday life to half of humanity. Their conservation is a key factor for sustainable development. Unfortunately, mountains are under threat from climate change and overexploitation, while mountain communities face increasing poverty. To address these threats, the UN General Assembly (UNGA), in December 2021, passed a resolution declaring the year 2022 as the International Year of Sustainable Mountain Development, 2022. The Government of the Kyrgyz Republic proposed the resolution, which was sponsored by 94 governments.

The Joint Body on the Status of Mountain Snow Cover welcomes expressions of interest from individuals with relevant expertise willing to actively contribute to one or several of the Joint Body's Work Package objectives. The deadline has been extended to 24 June 2022.

Climate change is impacting the amount and distribution of mountain snow cover over space and time. Knowledge of these changes is of great importance for research and practice, not least given the important role that snow plays for mountain ecosystems, natural hazards, and tourism, as well as providing a source of water for ecosystems and humans. Despite the high relevance of snow in mountain regions, an inventory for mountain snow cover and the underlying processes comparable on a global scale are still lacking. Even regional inventories are strongly limited to a few well-monitored mountain ranges, such as in the U.S. Rockies and the European Alps.

Help shape climate change adaptations in Valle dei Laghi and the wider Trentino-Alto Adige region by providing your expertise via this IMPETUS survey.

Residents and experts working in the Valle dei Laghi and wider Trentino-Alto Adige region have the opportunity to contribute to a major project that is testing and creating solutions to help the valley adapt to the impacts of climate change.

This MRI-funded synthesis workshop, which became a small research project during the pandemic (fieldwork led by African students), addressed smallholder farmers’ adaptation to climate change in 10 African mountains.

With an emphasis on everyday practices of climate change adaptation among small-scale farmers in African mountains, workshop organizers sought to improve understanding of the challenges and opportunities for Transformative Adaptation to Climate Change; foster inter-regional dialogue; and initiate a network of mountain experts, providing opportunities for follow-on exchange and collaboration.

In a new research article from GEO Mountains, Thornton et al. analyse the coverage of in situ climatological observations across the world's mountains. 

In situ climatological data from the world's mountains are crucial for many applications. As such, any limitations associated with such data (e.g., limited spatial density of stations, short record lengths, relative lack of observations at higher elevations, etc.) can impinge upon several important activities, not least tracking changing mountain climates, better understanding the key processes and feedbacks involved, and making reliable projections of change impacts.

In April 2022, the Mountain Research Initiative (MRI) signed a Memorandum of Understanding to partner with the TEAMx Programme. This partnership aims to support scientific exchange and collaboration between the two organizations' respective communities. 

The TEAMx Programme (Multi-Scale Transport and Exchange Processes in the Atmosphere Over Mountains) is an international research programme that seeks to improve understanding of atmospheric processes over mountainous terrain. Several members of the MRI Elevation Dependent Climate Change Working Group are also part of the TEAMx Programme, and were instrumental in encouraging this Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in order to support closer links between the two organizations. 

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