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Upcoming Events

Toward a definition of Essential Mountain Climate Variables

29/09/2021 15:00 16:00

MRI Anniversary Lecture

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Free, registration required.

Event location


This event is the fourth in the MRI Anniversary Lecture Series, celebrating 20 years since the MRI Coordination Office was founded in 2001. This series aims to showcase MRI synthesis workshop research and build capacity in the mountain research community.

Invited speaker James Thornton joined the Mountain Research Initiative in 2020 upon completion of his PhD in hydrogeology at the University of Neuchâtel, Switzerland. His doctoral research focused on the interdisciplinary, physics-based numerical modelling of hydrological processes in complex Alpine terrain, and involved a wide range of datasets and computational tools. Prior to that, James worked in the reinsurance sector, where he was responsible for leading the development of natural catastrophe models in order to quantify the risks associated with extreme events such as floods and tropical cyclones. He is currently responsible for the coordination and implementation of GEO Mountains, a GEO Initiative seeking to increase the availability and accessibility of a wide range of data pertaining to mountainous regions to benefit human societies and ecosystems globally.

In this presentation, James will describe some of the initial steps that have recently been undertaken towards establishing a set of interdisciplinary climate-related variables (so-called Essential Mountain Climate Variables, EMCVs) that should be prioritised for systematic observation across mountain regions globally in order to provide more uniform reporting information and build more reliable predictive models. He will also provide an outlook on possibilities to either strengthen the measurement of EMCVs, or else exploit existing EMCV data more efficiently. One approach, combining in situ and remotely sensed observations, will be exemplified with respect to a distributed, energy-balanced based snow model. Finally, future steps towards the concept’s formalisation – to which the community is warmly invited to contribute – will be proposed. 


Date: 29 September 2021 | Time: 15:00-16:00 CEST | Location: Online

  • Welcome & Introduction | MRI
  • Toward a definition of Essential Mountain Climate Variables | James Thornton, MRI & GEO Mountains
  • Q&A 

Download the flyer.

In order to participate, please complete the registration form below before 27 September 2021. Registrants will receive a Zoom webinar link and passcode prior to the lecture. For any questions, please contact the MRI at  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Image by Pete. 

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