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Upcoming Events

vEGU21: Gather Online

19/04/2021 30/04/2021

Online / Virtual Event

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The EGU General Assembly 2021 will take place entirely online as vEGU21: Gather Online (#vEGU21) from 19–30 April 2021. This completely virtual event will bring together geoscientists from all over the world to one meeting covering all disciplines of the Earth, planetary, and space sciences. The MRI is convening an exciting mountain-related session and a splinter meeting with GEO Mountains.

Early registration ends 31 March 2021. 

MRI & GEO Mountains Splinter Meeting: Interdisciplinary environmental and socio-economic observations in the world’s mountains: Identifying solutions to key challenges (Session ID: SPM2)
Convener: James Thornton (MRI GEO Mountains Scientific Project Officer)
Organizers: Carolina Adler (MRI Executive Director), Elisa Palazzi, Maria Shahgedanova (MRI Science Leadership Council), and Nick Pepin (MRI Elevation-Dependent Climate Change Working Group Lead)

Find more information about the splinter meeting here.

GEO Mountains vPICO Presentation: Towards a definition of Essential Mountain Climate Variables (Session ID: ESSI2.6)
Presenting Author: James Thornton
Authors: Elisa Palazzi, Nicholas Pepin, Paolo Cristofanelli, Richard Essery, Sven Kotlarski, Gregory Giuliani, Yaniss Guigoz, Aino Kulonen, Xiaofeng Li, David Pritchard, Hayley Fowler, Christophe Randin, Maria Shahgedanova, Martin Steinbacher, Marc Zebisch, and Carolina Adler

Numerous applications, including generating future predictions via numerical modelling, establishing appropriate policy instruments, and effectively tracking progress against them, require the multitude of complex processes and interactions operating in rapidly changing mountainous environmental systems to be well monitored and understood. At present, however, not only are environmental available data pertaining to mountains often severely limited, but interdisciplinary consensus regarding which variables should be considered absolute observation priorities remains lacking. In this context,  the concept of so-called Essential Mountain Climate Variables (EMCVs) is introduced as a potential means to identify critical observation priorities and thereby ameliorate the situation. Following a brief overview of the most critical aspects of ongoing and expected future climate-driven change in various key mountain system components (i.e. the atmosphere, cryosphere, biosphere and hydrosphere), a preliminary list of corresponding potential EMCVs – ranked according to perceived importance – is proposed. Interestingly, several of these variables do not currently feature amongst the globally relevant Essential Climate Variables (ECVs) curated by GCOS, suggesting this mountain-specific approach is indeed well justified. Thereafter, both established and emerging possibilities to measure, generate, and apply EMCVs are summarised. Finally, future activities that must be undertaken if the concept is eventually to be formalized and widely applied are recommended.

MRI Session: Risks from a changing cryosphere, and mountains under global change (Session ID: CR5.4/CL3.2.9/NH1.12)  
Convener: Christian Huggel (MRI Co-PI)
Co-Conveners: Carolina Adler (MRI Executive Director), Michael Krautblatter, Gabrielle Vance (MRI Scientific Project Officer), Matthew Westoby

The global cryosphere with all its components is strongly impacted by climate change and has been undergoing significant changes over the past decades. Glaciers are shrinking and thinning. Snow cover and duration is reduced, and permafrost, in both Arctic and mountain environments, is thawing. Changes in sea ice cover and characteristics have attracted widespread attention, and changes in ice sheets are monitored with care and concern. Risks associated with one or several of these cryosphere components have been present throughout history. However, with ongoing climate change, we expect changes in the magnitude and frequency of hazards with profound implications for risks, especially when these interact with other aspects relating to context vulnerability, exposure, and other processes of biophysical and/or socioeconomic drivers of change. New or growing glacier lakes pose a threat to downstream communities through the potential for sudden drainage. Thawing permafrost can destabilize mountain slopes, and eventually result in large landslide or destructive rock and ice avalanches. An accelerated rate of permafrost degradation in low-land areas poses risk to existing and planned infrastructure and raises concerns about large-scale emission of greenhouse gases currently trapped in Arctic permafrost. Decreased summertime sea ice extent may produce both risks and opportunities in terms of large-scale climate feedbacks and alterations, coastal vulnerability, and new access to transport routes and natural resources. Furthermore, rapid acceleration of outlet glacier ice discharge and collapse of ice sheets is of major concern for sea level change. This session invites contributions across all cryosphere components that address risks associated with observed or projected physical processes. Contributions considering more than one cryosphere component (e.g. glaciers and permafrost) are particularly encouraged, as well as contributions on cascading processes and interconnected risks. Contributions can consider hazards and risks related to changes in the past, present or future. Furthermore, Contributions may consider one or several components of risks (i.e. natural hazards, exposure, vulnerability) as long as conceptual clarity is ensured. Furthermore, cases that explore diverse experiences with inter- and transdisciplinary research, that sought to address these risks with communities through adaptation and resilience building, are also to be considered.

See the MRI Call for Abstracts here


Key Dates

3 November 2020: Abstract submission opens 
20 January 2021, 13:00 CET: Abstract submission closes
31 March 2021: Deadline early registration
19-30 April 2021 vEGU21: Gather Online
22 April 2021: MRI & GEO Mountains Splinter Meeting
27 April 2021: GEO Mountains Presentation
30 April 2021: MRI Session


The scientific programme is available here

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