MRI News
valais 3562988 1280The World Glacier Monitoring Service is calling for data on glacier changes in length, area, volume, and mass for the observation period 2016/17, as well as for preliminary mass balance results from ‘reference’ glaciers for 2017/18. The deadline for data submission is 1 December 2018.

The World Glacier Monitoring Service (WGMS) regularly compiles and publishes standardized data on glacier changes in length, area, volume, and mass based on in-situ and remotely sensed observations. A corresponding call for data is annually sent out through the National Correspondents of the WGMS, who organize the collection and submission of glacier data within their country. Apart from the official calls for data, the WGMS welcomes any glacier data that is submitted according to the standards described below.

Read more: Call for Data | World Glacier Monitoring Service

IPCC Special Report 1.5 degrees coverIn a new Special Report released in October, the IPCC stressed the urgency of limiting global warming to 1.5°C to mitigate some of the more severe consequences of climate change. What are the implications of this report for mountains and mountain research?

Published earlier this month, the IPCC Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C provided compelling evidence of climate change impacts that could be avoided by limiting global warming to 1.5°C, compared to 2°C or more. Global sea level rise by 2100, for instance, would be 10 cm lower with 1.5°C rather than 2°C of warming, while the likelihood of an Arctic Ocean free of sea ice in summer would be once per century, rather than at least once per decade.

“Every extra bit of warming matters, especially since warming of 1.5°C or higher increases the risks associated with long-lasting or irreversible changes, such as the loss of some ecosystems,” says Hans-Otto Pörtner, Co-Chair of IPCC Working Group II.

Read more: IPCC Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C – A Mountain Research Perspective

ehrenkreuz kaser 02 102018 nrProfessor Georg Kaser, Dean of the Faculty of Geo and Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Innsbruck, was this month awarded the Cross of Honour for Science and Art First Class – Austria's highest honour for people working in science or the arts. 

An expert on alpine and tropical glaciology, Professor Georg Kaser was this month granted Austria's prestigious Cross of Honour for his exceptional scientific achievements. Kaser began his career by studying geo and atmospheric sciences at the University of Innsbruck, and participating on a glaciological research project within the framework of the UNESCO programme International Hydrological Decade 
– the first worldwide programme of studies of the hydrological cycle.

Read more: Cross of Honour for Climate Scientist Georg Kaser

poppies 76129 1280 thumbThe Swiss Network for International Studies (SNIS) offers project grants for pluri-disciplinary research teams. The project grants run for two years and range from 100,000 to 300,000 Swiss Francs. The call for projects for 2019 is open until 16 January. 

Swiss institutions of higher education and research are invited to submit project proposals in the pluri-disciplinary field of international studies or relating to the special topic: What options for climate change mitigation without multilateralism? To apply, research teams must submit a pre-proposal that contains the description of the project (approx. 4-5 pages) as well as information on the submitting research team members. The SNIS Scientific Committee will then decide which applicants are invited to submit a full proposal.

Read more: Call for Projects | Swiss Network for International Studies

madeira 103242 640An article published in Remote Sensing explores the use of satellite products to examine the current state of and trends in the supply of ecosystem services. 

Mountains are facing strong environmental pressures, which may jeopardize the supply of various ecosystem services. For sustainable land management, ecosystem services and their supporting functions should thus be evaluated and monitored. Satellite products have been receiving growing attention for monitoring ecosystem functioning, mainly due to their increasing temporal and spatial resolutions. This study aims to illustrate the high potential of satellite products, combined with ancillary in situ and statistical data, to monitor the current state and trend of ecosystem services in the Peneda-Gerês National Park, a protected mountain range in Portugal located in a transition climatic zone (Atlantic to Mediterranean).

Read more: New Publication | Ecosystem Services in a Protected Mountain Range of Portugal: Satellite-Based...

Publication cover imageA new study provides unique insights into the management of soil and water in the Páramo in south Ecuador – with implications for other peat-dominated ecosystems.

Páramo soils store high amounts of organic carbon. However, the effects of climate change and changes in land cover and use (LC/LU) in this high‐elevation tropical ecosystem may cause a decrease in their carbon storage capacity. Therefore, better understanding of the factors influencing the Páramo soils' carbon storage and export is urgently needed. To fill this knowledge gap, researchers investigated the differences in dissolved organic carbon (DOC) content in the soil water of four LC/LU types (tussock grass, natural forest, pine plantations, and pasture) and the factors controlling its variability in the Quinuas Ecohydrological Observatory in south Ecuador.

Weekly measurements of soil water DOC concentrations, meteorological variables, soil water content, and temperature from various depths and slope positions were monitored within the soils' organic and mineral horizons between October 2014 and January 2017. This data was then used to generate regression trees and random forest statistical models to identify the factors controlling soil water DOC concentrations.

Read more: New Publication | Effect of land cover and hydro‐meteorological controls on soil water DOC...

vibrant 1617470 200x150With the International Climate Protection Fellowships, the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation enables prospective leaders in academia and industry to implement a research based proposal in the field of climate protection or climate-related resource conservation during a one-year stay in Germany. The closing date for applications is 1 March 2019.

Up to 20 International Climate Protection Fellowships are granted annually, funded under the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety’s (BMU) International Climate Initiative. The fellowships target prospective leaders from non-European transition and developing countries (see list of countries). Candidates draw up their own research-based proposal which they then implement in collaboration with a host in Germany.

Read more: New Opportunity | Alexander von Humboldt Foundation International Climate Protection Fellowships