Updates from the MRI Working Groups
MRI News
article written by MRI
24.02.21 | 11:02

Despite the challenges of 2020, and 2021 so far, the five MRI Working Groups have exciting updates to report!

The MRI Working Groups are community-led activities aligned with the MRI’s objectives. They provide platforms for discussion, exchange, and research.

The Working Groups are open to the community, and welcome MRI network members to participate in their activities—especially early career researchers! Please contact the Working Group Leads listed below to get involved.

Elevation-Dependent Climate Change

Lead: Nick Pepin, University of Portsmouth, UK | Visit Webpage

The Elevation-Dependent Climate Change Working Group assesses if, where, to what extent, and why climate processes in mountains and other high elevation regions of the world are changing more rapidly than those in lowlands. 

This Working Group is in the process of submitting a review/synthesis paper on global precipitation and temperature changes in mountain regions (expected March 2021). Looking forward, the group wishes to prepare a synthesis paper “From Elevation Dependent Warming to Elevation-Dependent Climate Change.” This will develop further via discussions at vEGU at a dedicated splinter meeting. A workshop at a later date (second half of 2021, TBC) will also focus on moving beyond elevation-dependent warming (EDW) to elevation-dependent climate change (EDCC) and attempting to understand how elevation gradients of various drivers (other than temperature) are changing.

Education for Sustainable Mountain Development 

Lead: MRI Chair Jörg Balsiger, University of Geneva, Switzerland | Visit Webpage

The Education for Sustainable Mountain Development Working Group supports the development of the next generation of educators interested in global change in mountains.

The activities of this Working Group culminated in a recent special issue of the journal Mountain Research and Development (MRD), including the article “Education for Sustainable Mountain Development: Preliminary Insights From a Web-based Survey of Opportunities.” 

Mountain Governance 

Lead: Catherine Tucker, University of Florida, USA | Visit Webpage

The Mountain Governance Working Group addresses the critical need for better understanding and information regarding mountain governance challenges and opportunities. 

This Working Group submitted the paper “Challenges for Governing Mountains Sustainably: Results of a Global Survey” to MRD recently, and plans to update and expand the Mountain Governance Bibliography hosted on the MRI website by the end of June 2021. They will also lead a virtual panel on Transformations to Mountain Sustainability for the Association of American Geographers (AAG) in April 2021.

Mountain Observatories 

Lead: MRI SLC member Maria Shahgedanova, University of Reading, UK | Visit Webpage

The Mountain Observatories Working Group brings together an international and interdisciplinary group of experts to build on the Global Network of Mountain Observatories (GNOMO), which was established in 2015 to create a network that would generate comparable data on mountain social-ecological systems, from climate and hydrology to ecology, human use, and governance. GNOMO has since been incorporated into GEO Mountains.

This Working Group is assisting GEO Mountains with the development of an inventory of predominantly research-oriented in situ mountain observation infrastructure, thereby continuing and expanding the legacy of GNOMO. MRD accepted the group’s review paper “Mountain Observatories: Status and Prospects to Enhance and Connect a Global Community” highlighting possible areas (both geographical and thematic) for the improvement of integrated monitoring. The group will host the first in a series of regional workshops on mountain observatories in Central Asia in 2021 (postponed from the third quarter of 2020).

Mountain Resilience 

Co-Leads: Tobias Luthe, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich, Switzerland | Visit Webpage
Romano Wyss, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne, Switzerland | Visit Webpage

The Mountain Resilience Working Group aims to collect existing knowledge and build new capacity in mountain resilience, working toward a dynamic assessment of the evolving state of mountain social-ecological system resilience to interconnected environmental changes.

This Working Group began a new ETH Innosuisse project in December 2020 studying the circularity potential of hemp to strengthen the resilience of the economy in mountain regions. The group is in the process of submitting a mountain resilience review paper to MRD. They will offer the ETHZ EPFL PhD summer school on alpine-urban circularity and resilience in the Piedmont region in northern Italy in September 2021 (postponed from September 2020). In the second half of 2021, they plan to hold a Mountain Resilience workshop at the MonViso Institute in the Piedmont region (postponed from April 2020; new dates depend on the COVID-19 situation).

More information about the MRI Working Groups

Cover image by chrisaram2