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Fragile Mountain Systems? On the Evolution of Scientific Insights

In this blog post written for the Network for European Mountain Research (NEMOR), Harald Bugmann, Professor of Forest Ecology at ETH Zurich, reflects on the fragility of mountain forests and their vulnerability to the impacts of climate change.

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Tackling “the Ultimate Challenge” in Greater Depth

I am delighted to join the MRI as a Scientific Project Officer and, as part of the GEO-GNOME project, look forward to working in an interdisciplinary and collaborative fashion to improve the availability and accessibility of data pertaining to the earth’s mountainous regions. Below, by way of self-introduction, I take the opportunity to say a few words regarding my recent doctoral research.  

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COVID-19 in Glacier Regions Update: Latin America Responds, Italy Uses Drones to Enforce Quarantine, and the US Copes

A village below the Peruvian Cordillera Blanca

 

For the past two weeks GlacierHub has made space in the usual Monday news roundup for coverage of the coronavirus pandemic as it impacts glacier regions. In continuing that reporting, the following is an aggregation of coronavirus news stories from global glacier regions, written by guest author Peter Deneen.

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Acodado Glacier, Chile Retreat Yields Tripling in Lake Area 1987 - 2020

Loriaux and Casassa (2013)  examined the expansion of lakes of the Northern Patagonia Ice Cap (NPI). From 1945 to 2011 lake area expanded 65%, 66 km 2 . Rio Acodado has two large glacier termini at its headwater, HPN2 and HPN3. that are fed by the same accumulation zone and comprise the Acodado Glacier. The glacier separates from Steffen Glacier at 900 m. The lakes at the terminus of each were first observed in 1976 and had an area of 2.4 and 5.0 km 2  in 2011  (Loriaux and Casassa, 2013).    Willis et al (2012)  noted a 3.5 m thinning per year from 2001-2011 in the ablation zone of the Acodado Glacier, they also note annual velocity is less than 300 m/year in the ablation zone.  Davies and Glasser (2012)  noted that the Acodado Glacier termini, HPN2 and HPN3, had retreated at a steadily increasing rate from 1870 to 2011....
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A Reservoir of Difficulties for Hydropower

Grande Dixence Dam

Hydropower will have to undergo big changes if it’s to meet the demands of the Energy Strategy 2050. But this old source of renewable energy is faced with problems today. We look at the recommendations made by the National Research Programme.

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From ‘Whom’ or ‘What’ do Protected Areas Shield the Environment? A Case Study from Mountainous Georgia

The expansion of protected areas has significant implications for local communities and economies. How can community involvement in this process build trust and help ensure sustainable socioeconomic development, and what are the challenges that such an expansion can generate? A new research project sets out to explore this topic in the context of the expansion of Georgia's Kazbegi National Park. Mountain and Rural Development Initiatives – Caucasus Region (MRD-Cau) , based at Tbilisi State University, is a collaborative effort between several local and international scholars with the shared vision of pursuing solutions to pressing challenges in rural and mountainous Caucasus. This platform initiates research projects focused on tackling issues related to the transformation of socioeconomic and spatial conditions, mostly centered around tourism development, management of protected areas, territorial patterns of local economic activities, etc. Importantly, most of the projects are based on interdisciplinary approaches that aim to bolster sustainable and inclusive...
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Workshop on Sustainable Water Resources Management in High Mountains in the Baltic Sea Region

The 2nd International Hydrological Workshop on Sustainable Water Resources Management in High Mountains in the Baltic Sea Region was held in Zakopane in the Polish Tatra Mountains from 10-13 June 2019. 

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Peru’s Ancient Water Systems Can Help Protect Communities from Shortages Caused by Climate Change

Water is essential for human life, but in many parts of the world water supplies are under threat from more extreme, less predictable weather conditions due to climate change. Nowhere is this clearer than in the Peruvian Andes, where rising temperatures and receding glaciers forewarn of imminent water scarcity for the communities that live there.

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Defending the Environment Now More Lethal Than Soldiering in Some War Zones – And Indigenous Peoples Are Suffering Most

Despite centuries of persecution, indigenous groups still manage or have tenure rights over at least a quarter of the world’s land surface. Often inhabiting these lands as far back as memory extends, they share a deep and unique connection to their environment.

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Lagging Behind

Species have been reported to be moving poleward and upward in mountains as a result of climate change. Evidence of this movement is piling up rapidly, and with every passing year the increasing speed at which it is occurring is also becoming apparent. However, new studies reveal that this species movement is often not as straightforward as it first appears. [caption id="attachment_3155" align="alignright" width="300"] Plants and other sessile organism often show a delayed response to climate change. (Northern Scandes, Norway) One might think that as the climate warms, so species will follow. The problem is, a species’ reaction to a change in their environment is not always that fast. They often need some time to adjust and to move towards where the climate is now suitable. This delayed reaction is especially true for sessile species, like plants, that depend almost entirely on seed transportation to travel around. Toward greater understanding These...
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Human Needs & Wildlife Management: Pathways 2017

The 2017 Pathways Conference took place 17-20 September in the Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado, USA. Pathways to Success: Integrating Human Dimensions into Fish and Wildlife Management was an international gathering of over 270 scientists, NGOs, and government agencies from 20 countries. Its theme was FUTURES , addressing the myriad of issues that arise as people and wildlife struggle to coexist in a sustainable and healthy manner. Pathways 2017 was hosted by Colorado State University in partnership with the US Fish and Wildlife Service. Keynote speakers included Dan Ashe (President and CEO of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums), Joel Berger (Director of a number of projects for the Wildlife Conservation Society, or WCS) and Laurie Marker (Founder and Executive Director of the Cheetah Conservation Fund). In his speech, Dan Ashe called for a more integrated approach to conservation. Such an approach recognizes the human dimensions of fish and wildlife...
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LuMont – The Lusophony mountain research network meeting: a common research agenda for mountain areas in Portuguese speaking countries

LuMont, the Lusophony Mountain Research Network , met physically for the first time on October 7, 2016, in Bragança, Portugal. This was a very expected meeting since LuMont was until this date mostly a virtual network with general goals and objectives set by CIMO, the Mountain Research Centre at the Polytechnic Institute of Bragança, who lead the process. The Lusophony Mountain Research Network had as goals the promotion of information flow among researchers and research institutions dedicated to mountains, and the creation of more and better opportunities for research partnerships, projects, grants, educational programmes, and other initiatives. Apparently modest, this is not an easy goal to achieve due to the spread of the researchers in the network over a number of countries in several continents and the diverse economic and development contexts where research takes place. [caption id="attachment_2461" align="alignleft" width="300"] Participants at the LuMont meeting in Bragança, Portugal, October 7 2016. LuMont...
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