A recap of news and activities from the MRI office for the month of July, including a visit to ICIMOD in Kathmandu, Nepal, to deliver inaugural lecture on Disater Risk and Water Management at the Himalayan University Consortium Academy 2017; activities related to the sixth assessment report cycle for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC); a call to the MRI community to contribute with views and feedback on newsletters and communications at MRI, and more....
At MRI, we are currently reviewing our communications strategy to ensure we respond to the information and communications needs that are important for our MRI community of scientists, and stakeholders alike, interested in mountain research. To this end, we would appreciate a moment of your time to answer a few questions, so that we take your views into account. This survey will remain open to receive your responses until 31 August 2017.
To go to the survey, please follow this external link.
For any questions regarding this survey, please feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
The MRI is a multidisciplinary scientific organization hosted by the Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences, with the goal to promote and coordinate global change research in mountain regions. To fulfill this goal, we seek a SCIENTIFIC PROJECT OFFICER to lead and assist in the planning, coordination and execution of tasks related to diverse projects and activities at MRI, enhancing a vibrant scientific community and research collaboration for sustainable mountain development at local, regional and global levels.
Please consider submitting an abstract to this session, which looks at quantifying fire climatology at scales relevant to landscape management. The session description is below. This is the annual session sponsored by CIRMOUNT, the Consortium for Integrated Climate Research in Western Mountains; submissions relevant to mountain research and management are encouraged, but this is a wide net, including regional to global outcomes.
Abstract Submission Deadline: August 2, 2017
Title: Climate change and fire regimes in mountain ecosystems: toward actionable predictions and projections
If you use Facebook, follow the Mountain Research Initiative to get the latest mountain-related news, job announcements, blog posts and, every now and then, some mountain eye-candy to brighten your day!
The purpose of the SnowHydro conference is to present recent research findings in all areas of snow hydrology, to facilitate scientific discussions and to provide opportunities for collaboration and cooperation. The conference shall attract scientists, students and other professionals with different geographic origin and scientific background. The participation of early career researchers is positively encouraged. The organizing committee will strive as far as possible for a balance with respect to senior and junior scientist in the conference’s sessions.
The publication Safer lives and livelihoods in mountains: Making the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction work for sustainable mountain development was shared with a wider public at the 2017 Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) in Cancun, 22-24 May by SDC.
The publication presents 15 case studies from mountain regions around the world, illustrating the efforts and experiences of public and private actors to implement the Sendai Framework’s four priorities for actions. Messages for policy-makers emphasize the need for mountain-specific disaster risk reduction policies – ideally, integrated with development activities and climate change adaption measures – to make livelihoods in mountains and beyond safer.
AfroMont Mountain Research and News Digest, July-August 2017
AfroMont, a knowledge sharing platform, was initiated in 2007 by the Mountain Research Initiative (MRI) to focus research attention on the diverse issues and challenges facing the mountainous regions of sub-Saharan Africa. AfroMont is an online media platform, now with ten years of activities, all with a focus on Africa mountain research and Sustainable Mountain Development (SMD) in African countries. We follow advances in African mountain research and issues including news and specialized opinion articles covering all aspects of global change in mountains.
Photo credit: Sue Taylor. Towards Lesotho and the Maloti Mountains, South Africa.
Editorial – 2016 set to be named the ‘hottest’ year yet
It is very likely that 2016 will be declared the hottest year on record, hotter even than 2015, named the ‘hottest year on record’ back then. It seems likely that each year will be the ‘hottest’ year. Records showed that 2016’s global temperatures were approximately 1.6 °C above pre-industrial levels according to the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). For those of you who follow the climate change negotiations, we as a global society, are supposed to be taking strenuous action to prevent the world temperature from reaching 2.0°C above pre-industrial levels. It seems that we don’t have much room to play with now.
When I started as a climate change activist in 2007, the atmospheric CO2 level was 380 ppm, up from 280 ppm in 1750. How we all rubbed our hands in concern about this level, and wondered about future increases. It is clear that we do have a problem and that climate change is real! The deadliest climate change-linked event in 2016 was Hurricane Matthew, causing Haiti’s worst disaster since the Haiti earthquake. The world can expect further extreme weather linked calamities on an ongoing basis. Sobering stuff.
Concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere continue to increase even though global emissions are beginning to stabilize. As Scipps Institute of Oceanography explains, even though we have reduced our global CO2 emissions slightly, we have seen the atmospheric CO2 concentration hit a record in April 2016 of 410.14 ppm. To stabilize atmospheric CO2 levels would require an immediate 50 percent cut in emissions, at which point the remaining emissions would be offset by the sinks (oceans and forests), at least for a while.
The now famous Scripp’s Keeling curve (full record).
Eventually, additional emissions cuts would be required because the sinks will slowly lose their efficiency as the land and ocean start to saturate. A permanent stabilization at current levels therefore requires both an immediate 50-percent cut as well as a slow tapering thereafter, eventually approaching zero emissions.
A group of 19 universities and research centres from Andorra, Portugal and Spain have formalized the creation of an Iberian mountain research network to study in partnership the issues affecting mountain areas on the Iberian Peninsula. The Iberian mountain research network “Rede Ibérica de Investigação de Montanha” (RIIM), an initiative of the Centro de Investigação de Montanha (CIMO), was established at the Instituto Politécnico de Bragança in Portugal on 26 May 2017 through the signature of a Memorandum of Understanding.
Mountain areas occupy a large extent of Andorra, Portugal and Spain. These areas are important for the production of high-quality, high-value goods, the conservation of biological and geological diversity, the conservation of material and intangible cultural heritage, and the provision of essential environmental services. Acknowledging the relevance of mountains and taking into account the growing recognition of their importance in international research and development agendas, including those of Euromontana, the Mountain Partnership and the Mountain Research Initiative, the parties involved in RIIM have agreed to undertake joint activities to promote research and innovation in the mountain areas of the Iberian Peninsula.
Isabel Ferreira, Coordinator of CIMO, said, "We need to work together so that we can mobilize more resources and build stronger and more critical teams. The mountains of the Iberian Peninsula attract a lot of interest from scientists and researchers, therefore it makes sense to address all mountain issues, ranging from climate change to forests, the environment, the agri-food sector, tourism and health."
Researcher Angel Penas of the University of Leon, one of the universities involved in RIIM, hopes that this network will be supported by the Andorran, Portuguese and Spanish governments and that this partnership will open to other Portuguese and Spanish non-scientific institutions, such as the private sector. Penas said, "It is of particular importance that this joint research network take into account how mountains are being affected by climate change and the social and economic effects this will have in the future. In Spain as in Portugal, mountain areas are very depopulated territories, and those areas where this phenomenon is not yet evident run the risk that, if the population does not have the means to adapt to climate change, they will end up without people."
Mountain Researcher Constanza Ceruti Gold Medalist of the ISWG
Constanza Ceruti received the Gold Medal award of the International Society of Woman Geographers (ISWG) during the triannual meeting about "Women who make a difference in the World" (California, May 2017). Constanza´s conference about her contributions to High Altitude Archaeology and the Anthropology of Sacred Mountains was met with a standing ovation. Since 1933 the ISWG has given its highest award to about 20 outstanding women, including Jane Goodall, Sylvia Earle, Margaret Mead and Amelia Earhart.
The only female Andean high altitude archaeologist in the world, argentinean anthropologist Constanza Ceruti is a Scientific Investigator of the National Council for the Scientific Research in Argentina (CONICET), a Professor at the Catholic University of Salta and USAL and a Research Associate at the Institute of Archaeology in the University of Bern. She graduated from University of Buenos Aires and earned a Ph.D. at University of Cuyo, having climbed over 100 mountains above 5000 meters to study mountaintop shrines of the Inca civilization. In 1999 she co-discovered the best preserved frozen mummies at 6739 m, on the summit of Llullaillaco, the highest archaeological site on earth. The author of twenty books and more than one hundred academic publications, she has lectured throughout the five continents. TED fellow at the global meeting in Oxford and Rising Talent at the Women´s Forum for the Economy and Society, she is a Gold Medalist of the University of Buenos Aires, Gold Condor of the Argentine Army and Emerging Explorer of the National Geographic Society. Distinguished for her courage by the Wings Worldquest and Distinguished Lecturer in Anthropology at the University of West Georgia, she was one of the five awardees in Communication and Humanities at the Prince of Asturias Ceremony in 2006, and received an Honorary Doctorate from the Moravian College in Pennsylvania (2014).
Dr. Ceruti is currently conducting anthropological research on Sacred Mountains in diverse parts of the world. The Constanza Ceruti Chair on Sacred Mountains has recently been opened at the Catholic University of Salta (UCASAL) and Mundo Editorial has launched a collection of her books, which includes tittles about Thailand, Australia, Ireland, Spain, Easter Island, Costa Rica and the Andes.