MRI News

One of the most comprehensive documentaries ever produced about the relationship between climate change, mountain environments, and glaciers, The Last Glaciers shines a light on the rapid depletion of the world's water towers as a result of climate change. The Mountain Research Initiative is proud to be a science partner in support of this important film.  

Released on World Water Day (22 March) and to be screened in IMAX cinemas worldwide, the highly anticipated documentary The Last Glaciers follows award-winning filmmaker Craig Leeson and United Nations Mountain Hero & Entrepreneur Malcolm Wood over the course of four years as they journey to the planet's remaining glaciers to explore the causes and effects of climate change in mountains – the location of our planet's vital, and vanishing, water reservoirs.

Research led by Dr. Estefania Quenta-Herrera, research associate at the Universidad Mayor de San Andrés and a participant in the MRI co-led Mentoring and Training Program in IPCC Processes for Early Career Mountain Researchers, explores the impact of protected areas on high-elevation freshwater ecosystems, their biodiversity, and their ecosystem services in the tropical Andes.

Although protected areas (PAs) play an important role in ecosystem conservation and climate change adaptation, no systematic information is available on the impact of PA in terms of the protection of high-elevation freshwater ecosystems, their biodiversity, and their ecosystem services in the tropical Andes. Research published in the journal Environmental Conservation seeks to help address that gap.

On 10 February 2022, the Mountain Research Initiative and the Inter-American Institute for Global Change Research signed a Letter of Understanding to explore the joint promotion and implementation of projects and activities of mutual interest in the areas of research, capacity building, and the science-policy interface. 

The Inter-American Institute for Global Change Research (IAI) is a regional intergovernmental organization that promotes transdisciplinary scientific research and capacity-building to inform decision-makers for the development of public policy relevant to global change.  With an interest in collaborating and cross-promoting initiatives in areas of scientific research and capacity development, as well as in supporting decision-making in environmental management through information that allows an integrated approach to the socioeconomic and environmental challenges faced in mountain regions in the Americas, the IAI and the MRI have signed a Letter of Understanding. 

Enhanced mountain warming coupled with reduced elevation dependency of precipitation may deplete stores of mountain snow and ice more rapidly than previously thought, new research conducted by the MRI’s Elevation-Dependent Climate Change Working Group has found.

Mountains hold most of the world’s snow and ice outside of polar regions and play an essential role in supplying water to meet the needs of both fragile ecosystems and a significant proportion of the world’s population. By the mid-21st century, it is anticipated that about 1.5 billion people in lowland areas – almost a quarter of the world’s lowland population – will critically depend upon water from mountains. The retreat of glaciers, rising snow lines, and changes in precipitation as a result of climate change, both now and in future, therefore have serious implications.

The International Mountain Conference 2022 will take place 11-15 September in Innsbruck, Austria. Join representatives of the MRI for a number of exciting Focus Sessions!

The International Mountain Conference 2022 (IMC2022) aims to build upon the previous mountain conferences and continue this scientific conference series exclusively targeted towards mountain research. Hosted in the Alps, IMC2022 is a key opportunity for experts from different disciplines to discuss mountain-related issues in a cross-disciplinary setting. The key goals of the conference are to synthesize and enhance our understanding of mountain systems, in particular their response and resilience to global change.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has opened registration for the Government and Expert Review of its Sixth Assessment Synthesis Report. Members of the MRI community are encouraged to share their expertise. Registration closes 13 March 2022.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is currently in its sixth assessment cycle, which aims to provide policymakers with scientific assessments concerning climate change, its implications and risks, and potential adaptation and mitigation strategies.

The UNESCO’s Man and the Biosphere (MAB) Programme has relaunched the World Network of Mountain Biosphere Reserves to create research opportunities and support knowledge exchange on environmental and social issues. The Mountain Research Initiative is proud to be supporting this important network. 

The recently elected technical secretariats of the World Network of Mountain Biosphere Reserves, jointly coordinated by the Research Centre for Eco-Environmental Sciences of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (China) and the Biosphere Reserve of the Valles de Omaña y Luna, held its first meeting to prepare the action plan for the upcoming years.

The International Association of Cryospheric Sciences has announced the establishment of a new Joint Body on the Status of Mountain Snow Cover in collaboration with the World Meteorological Organization and the Mountain Research Initiative.

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.

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