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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.  


Ambassador of Interdisciplinary Mountain Research | Interview with Connie Millar

Connie Millar in the East Humboldt Range, Nevada

During the 2019 Annual Meeting of the American Geophysical Union (AGU) in San Francisco, California, Dr. Constance Millar, USDA Forest Service Pacific, Southwest Research Station, Albany, California, was honoured with an AGU Ambassador Award. The award was given for her outstanding contributions and inspiring interdisciplinary research and leadership on how mountain flora and fauna adapt to climate change, and for building a diverse scientific community to guide management of these natural resources. 


Does debris cover offset glacier retreat in the Greater Caucasus?

Elbrus Mountains

In this blog post, Levan Tielidze tells us about supra-glacial debris cover change for the Greater Caucasus. His recent study indicates more than a doubling in the area of supra-glacial debris cover for the Elbrus Massif‘s glaciers from 1986 to 2014, the largest glacierized massif in the whole region. 


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.


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 km2. 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 km2 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. Here we examine the substantial changes in Acodado Glacier from 1987...

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.


Here’s How Some of Earth’s Most Breathtaking Landscapes Are Created by Glaciers

Photo by Shutterstock/Guitar photographer 

Glaciers have carved some of Earth’s most beautiful landscapes by steepening and deepening valleys through erosion. Think of the Scottish Highlands, Yosemite National Park in the US, or the Norwegian Fjords. But big questions remain about how glacial erosion works.

A problem for scientists seeking to understand how glaciers affect the landscape is that the processes of glacial erosion are very complex and not fully understood. For the most part that’s because these processes occur under tens, hundreds or even thousands of metres of ice – we simply can’t observe them.


Risks and Options from New Lakes in the Andes of Peru: Implications for Future Water Management

In the Andes of Peru and adjacent arid lowlands, human subsistence often depends on year-round streamflow from glaciers and lakes, particularly in the dry season. However, global change impacts increasingly affect local hydrology and associated livelihoods which is clearly demonstrated by the impacts of glacier shrinkage. Rapidly growing lakes (Fig. 1) in deglaciating mountain regions potentially imply severe risks but also options for human livelihoods.


The Bushfire Crisis: Implications for Australia’s Unique Alpine Flora and Fauna

Photo by James Camac

The bushfire crisis in Australia has dominated news headlines these past few weeks, affecting cities, towns and rural areas including the unique Australian alpine environment. This has prompted many to question what implications these fires have for these alpine ecosystems, but also the complex interactions with human dimensions and management options in a changing climate in mountain social-ecological systems.


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 development....

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