Call for Abstracts: Mountain Sessions at EGU 2024
MRI News
article written by MRI
20.11.23 | 09:11

The General Assembly 2024 of the European Geosciences Union (EGU) will be held in Vienna, Austria and online, from 14–19 April 2024. This event includes several exciting, mountain-related sessions, including several convened by representatives of the MRI. Abstract submission closes 13:00 CET on 10 January 2024.

The EGU General Assembly 2024 brings together geoscientists from all over the world to one meeting covering all disciplines of the Earth, planetary, and space sciences. The EGU aims to provide a forum where scientists, especially early career researchers, can present their work and discuss their ideas with experts in all fields of geoscience. Find out more on the EGU website.

MRI-Endorsed Sessions

TS3.4/NH13.4 Global Environmental Change in Mountain Social-Ecological Systems

Convener: Carolina Adler | Co-conveners: Margreth Keiler, Sven Fuchs

Mountains are complex social-ecological systems and natural laboratories in which to tangibly explore and understand how drivers and processes of global change manifest in specific places. In this session, we invite inter- and transdisciplinary contributions that examine past, present, and future environmental change, their associated impacts on ecosystems and people in mountain environments, and measures taken to address these impacts. This session is open to conceptual as well as empirical measurement and/or modelling or scenarios studies of mountain climate, cryosphere, ecology, hazards, and hydrology, which also incorporate studies on intersecting socio-economic dimensions and risks. Mountains as complex terrain can be difficult to adequately parameterize in (climate) models and many areas of the world lack high-elevation monitoring infrastructure that can record data at the relevant locations, densities, scales, frequencies, and resolutions needed. Likewise, there is a need to capture and account for socioeconomic changes such as demographic and land-use change and their projections to improve our understanding of how hazards, vulnerability, and exposure interact in terms of impacts and risks. We particularly welcome contributions that describe how steps are being taken to address such knowledge gaps, including high-elevation integrated monitoring efforts, observations along elevational gradients, climate downscaling strategies and remote sensing innovations, and integration methods that include societal data and information to characterise and represent a more comprehensive systems approach to global change.

This session is endorsed and supported by the Mountain Research Initiative and the Institute for Interdisciplinary Mountain Research of the Austrian Academy of Sciences.

AS1.35 Mountain Weather and Climate   

Co-organized by CL4 
Convener: Stefano Serafin | Co-conveners: Maria Vittoria Guarino, Sven Kotlarski, Douglas Maraun, Anna Napoli

Mountains cover approximately one-quarter of the total land surface on the planet, and a significant fraction of the world’s population lives in their vicinity. Orography critically affects weather and climate processes at all scales and, in connection with factors such as land-cover heterogeneity, is responsible for high spatial variability in mountain weather and climate. Due to this high complexity, monitoring and modeling the atmosphere and the other components of the climate system in mountain regions is challenging both at short (meteorological) and long (climatological) time scales. This session is devoted to a better understanding of weather and climate processes in mountain and high-elevation areas around the globe, as well as their modification induced by global environmental change.

We welcome contributions describing the influence of mountains on the atmosphere on meteorological time scales, including terrain-induced airflow, orographic precipitation, land-atmosphere exchange over mountains, forecasting, and predictability of mountain weather. Contributions connected with the TEAMx research programme are encouraged.

Furthermore, we invite studies that investigate climate processes and climate change in mountain areas and its impacts on dependent systems, based on monitoring and modeling activities. Particularly welcome are contributions that merge various sources of information and reach across disciplinary borders (atmospheric, hydrological, cryospheric, ecological, and social sciences) and that connect to the Elevation-Dependent Climate Change (EDCC) Working Group of the Mountain Research Initiative.

CR1.5 Mountain Snow Cover under Climate Change – from Past to Future   

Co-organized by HS13, co-sponsored by WMO
Convener: Wolfgang Schöner | Co-conveners: Michael Matiu, Lijuan Ma, Carolina Adler, Tao Che 

Climate change has significant impacts on the amount and spatial and temporal distribution of snow cover in mountain regions around the world. Several studies show that the response of snow cover to climate change in different mountain regions is not simply an effect of temperature change, but depends on several factors, such as geographical location (climate zone), latitude and regional atmospheric influences (e.g. interaction with synoptic-scale atmospheric flows). However, the observational capacities and process understanding of these interactions are very different for the individual mountain regions. Despite the great importance of snow in mountain regions, a comprehensive inventory of mountain snow cover on a global scale based on robust data is missing so far. Overcoming this research gap is a major motivation for the Joint Body “Status of Mountain Snow Cover”, as a joint effort of IACS, WMO and MRI.

The aim of the session is to not only share and highlight progress made across the JB’s work, but also invite and bring together the knowledge and experience of researchers from different mountain regions of the world working on similar topics on changes in snow cover. An expected outcome of the session is therefore to take stock and present the current state of knowledge and to identify research gaps that can guide future work. Given the overall importance of snow for ecology, the economy and human life in general, researchers from diverse and also interdisciplinary fields are called upon to contribute, and these are encouraged for all mountain regions of the world and using a wide variety of data sources and analytical methods (including modelling attempts, in-situ observations, satellite products or reanalysis data).

HS2.1.4 Mountain hydrology under global change: monitoring, modelling and adaptation   

Convener: Marit Van Tiel | Co-conveners: Andrea Momblanch , David Haro Monteagudo, Daniel Viviroli 

Despite only representing about 25% of continental land, mountains are an essential part of the global ecosystem and are recognised to be the source of much of the world’s fresh water supply. A considerable part of the world’s population depends on this water supply, around 26% live directly in the mountains and 40% live downstream of rivers originating in the mountains. The large elevation ranges and the heterogeneity of elevation-dependent hydro-meteorological conditions make mountains particularly sensitive to climate variability and change, but therefore also unique areas for identifying and monitoring the effects of global change.

This session aims to bring together the scientific community doing hydrology research on mountain ranges across the globe to share results and experiences. Therefore, this session invites contributions addressing past, present and future changes in mountain hydrology due to changes in either climate and/or land use, how these changes affect local and downstream territories, and adaptation strategies to ensure the long-term sustainability of mountain ecosystem services, with a special focus on water cycle regulation and water resources generation. Example topics of interest for this session are:
Sources of information for evaluating past and present hydrological conditions (in either mountain surface and/or ground water systems).

  • Methods for differentiating climatic and anthropogenic drivers of hydrological change in the mountains.
  • Modelling approaches to assess mountain hydrological change.
  • Evolution, forecasting and impacts of extreme events.
  • Case studies on adaptation to changing mountain water resources availability.

BG3.26 Treeline ecotones under global change: linking spatial patterns to ecological processes

Convener: Matteo Garbarino | Co-conveners: Maaike Bader, Alessandro Vitali, Johanna Toivonen, Nicolò Anselmetto

Treeline ecotones are transition zones between closed forest and climatically tree-less, e.g. alpine or arctic, areas. Due to their climate sensitivity they are considered sentinels of global-change effects on terrestrial ecosystems. Vegetation patterns in treeline ecotones are constrained by multiple factors acting at different spatial and temporal scales. Climatic treeline positions are strongly influenced by global- and regional-scale climatic patterns, but other factors such as soil, meso-topography, and natural and anthropogenic disturbances dominate patterns at the landscape scale. Moreover, species competition/facilitation and micro-topographic heterogeneity are key factors for vegetation dynamics at finer scales. A current trend in vegetation dynamics both at latitudinal and altitudinal treelines is the accelerated encroachment of trees and shrubs, caused by interactions between climate and land-use changes. This encroachment can have far-reaching consequences for the biodiversity and functioning of mountain and subarctic ecosystems. Spatial vegetation patterns likely hold important information about the factors and processes (e.g. seed dispersal, safe-site characteristics, biotic interactions) that control this encroachment, yet only 5% of treeline research deals with the spatial component of patterns and processes. For this reason, it is crucial to improve our understanding of spatial processes and the spatial signals of global change impacts in treeline ecotones, in order to plan better adaptation strategies and monitor biodiversity trends in such sensitive ecosystems. To achieve this goal, there is a need for a multiscale and multidisciplinary approach to better link treeline metrics to ecological questions. Specifically, remote sensing (several platforms and sensors) can be combined with field data and modeling to capture the heterogeneity and variability of ecological conditions in treeline ecotones and couple observed spatial patterns to ecological processes. In this session, we invite contributions from all fields of research related to either the detection and description of treeline spatial and temporal patterns or the processes that may be relevant for these patterns.

BIOGEOSCIENCES Special Issue focused on observational (field and remote sensing) and modeling studies conducted along the extreme climatic and ecological gradients at the latitudinal and elevational treelines of the globe. We encourage submissions (original or review) from diverse disciplines including ecology (e.g. plant, forest, landscape), remote sensing, geography, geochemistry, microbiology, soil sciences, geomorphology, and climatology.

Other Mountain Sessions of Interest

CR7.5 Multidisciplinary impacts of glacier decline

HS2.1.9 From snow and glacier hydrology to catchment runoff  

ITS5.15 Transformations of Mountain Landscapes: Opportunities and Threats  

GM6.1 Erosion, Weathering, and Sediment Transport in Mountain Landscapes  

HS2.1.8 Hydrology, chemistry, and ecology of mountain freshwaters in permafrost environments  

CR4.3 Mountain permafrost: Advances in understanding and response to climate change | PICO  

HS9.8  Analysis and Prediction of Hydrological Induced Disasters in High Mountain Environment  

GM4.1 El Niño drivers of surface processes and hazards in mountain regions  

ITS3.6/BG8.35 Land management strategies for global change adaptation in mountain rural areas | PICO  

CR5.2 Glacier monitoring from in-situ and remotely sensed observations  

GM10.4 Mountain glaciations from the past to the present: developments in geomorphology, geochronology, and palaeoclimatology  

NH9.14 Data services in disaster risk reduction and resilience building in mountain and glacier environments, Co-organized by GI2, co-sponsored by WMO and UNESCO 

SPM6 ‘The Legacy of Mountain Glaciations’ – opportunities to revive the perspective of a collaborative research network?  

CR1.2 Observing and modelling glaciers at regional to global scales | PICO  

NH9.16 Natural Hazards, Vulnerabilities, and Risks in the Mountainous Regions  

CR1.1 Glaciers and Ice Caps under Climate Change  

CR1.4 The Andean Cryosphere: water, snow, ice and climate  

GM3.4 Landscape Evolution Models: advancing in physical processes and short-term practical applications, Co-organized by NH10 

GM10.2 Cold Regions Geomorphology  

CR4.4 Evolution of debris-covered glaciers in a warming climate  

CR1.2 Observing and modelling glaciers at regional to global scales | PICO  

NH3.9 Alpine mass movements and associated hazards

Find out more on the EGU 2024 website. The abstract submission deadline for all sessions is 13:00 CET on 10 January 2024.

Support and Waivers

Two participation support schemes have been put in place by the EGU Council to facilitate the widest possible participation in EGU24: Roland Schlich travel support for on-site participants and a registration-fee waiver scheme for virtual participants.

Registration fees are waived for virtual participation by:

  • Scientists with a permanent affiliation in a low- or lower-middle income country according to the World Bank definition.
  • Undergraduate and Master’s students. A proof of student status is required.

On-site participants who wish to apply for a Roland Schlich travel support must be the contact author, as well as the first and presenting author of their contribution, and they must submit an abstract by 1 December 2023, 13:00 CET. The EGU support selection committee will decide about awarding support to individual contributions by 10 December 2024. All applicants will be informed after the decision.

Cover image by Ashkan