Microplastics have been discovered in a remote area of the French Pyrenees mountains. The particles travelled through the atmosphere and were blown into the once pristine region by the wind, according to a new study published in Nature Geoscience.

This is just the latest example of the 'hidden risks' posed by plastics that humans cannot see with the naked eye. For now, governments and activists are focused on avoiding plastic litter in the environment, driven mainly by concern for wildlife and worries over unsightly drinks bottles or abandoned fishing nets on beaches. Plastic bag usage has been cut in many parts of the world, and various projects are exploring how to gather up the floating plastic waste in oceans. But little has yet been done to deal with polluting plastic particles that are usually invisible.

New research on how glaciers in the European Alps will fare under a warming climate has come up with concerning results. Under a limited warming scenario, glaciers would lose about two-thirds of their present-day ice volume, while under strong warming, the Alps would be mostly ice free by 2100. 

The study by a team of researchers in Switzerland was published in the European Geosciences Union (EGU) journal The Cryosphere, and provides the most up-to-date and detailed estimates of the future of all glaciers in the Alps, around 4000. It projects large changes will occur in the coming decades: from 2017 to 2050, about 50 percent of glacier volume will disappear, largely independently of how much we cut our greenhouse gas emissions.

The Caucasus Mountain Forum 2019 will be held 30 October – 2 November in Ankara, Turkey. Contributions are invited on topics broadly related to sustainable mountain development and the Caucasus Research Agenda. The submission deadline for abstracts is 30 June. 

The Caucasus Mountain Forum 2019 is organized under the title 'The Caucasus Research Agenda – A Key to Sustainable Regional Development.' Designed to be a meeting place for scientists, policymakers, and practitioners from the Caucasus region and beyond, this event will serve as a basis for shaping the region’s sustainable future and, among other activities, will approve the Caucasus Research Agenda. The Research Agenda is a guide for regional research for development that is aimed towards identifying the current state of knowledge in core issue areas related to sustainable mountain development in the Caucasus region, key challenges and opportunities, and priority gaps for scientific research and development.

The Belmont Forum welcomes transdisciplinary proposals to its Collaborative Research Action (CRA) on Disaster Risk, Reduction and Resilience (DR3). This call responds to the growing need for assessment and reduction of disaster risk, collaborative co-design of resilience strategies with a breadth of stakeholders, and scientifically and technologically enhanced responses to disasters. 

In recent decades, through national, regional, and international endeavors, global society has gradually learned to manage the devastating consequences of disasters and acknowledge that disaster mitigation can be most efficiently and effectively managed by collaborative engagement of all sectors of society and through the integration of interdisciplinary scientific understanding with stakeholder knowledge.  Hence, this call specifically focuses on research efforts involving co-engagement and collective actions of all stakeholders to ameliorate disaster risk and enhance overall societal resilience to disasters. In the context of this call, disasters are framed as extreme environmental events that negatively impact coupled human-natural systems.  The generation of these events may have natural and/or anthropogenic causes.

The Belmont Forum in collaboration with Future Earth has announced a new collaborative research action for transdisciplinary research which will improve our understanding of the pathways between climate, environment, and health in order to protect and promote human health and well-being in the face of climate challenges.

Multilateral, inter- and transdisciplinary research projects will investigate where significant uncertainties exist that are barriers to action; address complex climate, ecosystem and health pathways to determine processes underlying causal links; and foster the use of scientific information and climate-related decision support tools to better inform planning and enhance resilience.

As part of our mission to promote research on mountain regions across borders and disciplines through connection and collaboration, the Mountain Research Initiative issued a call for synthesis workshops in December last year. The purpose of this call was to provide funding for workshops that bring together global change researchers in order to address specific topics of interest to the mountain research community.

A total of 14 workshop proposals were submitted and eligible for review by our panel, which was comprised of MRI Principal Investigators, MRI Science Leadership Council members, and the MRI Executive Director. 

Recognizing the need to support and build capacities for regional and global assessment for science-policy processes, the Mountain Research Initiative, University of Zurich, Helvetas, and ICIMOD – in an initiative supported by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) – have teamed up to launch a call for applications for a mentoring and training program for early career mountain researchers who have an interest in participating in IPCC processes. Application deadline is 12 May 2019.

Call for mountain researchers to jointly develop a proposal to fund an extended paid research stay at the National Glacier and Mountain Ecosystem Research Institute (INAIGEM), Peru (in Spanish).

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