The American Geophysical Union (AGU) Fall Meeting 2020 took place virtually this month. Mountain Research Initiative (MRI) Science Leadership Council members Bryan Mark and Shawn Marshall and MRI Scientific Project Officer Gabrielle Vance convened three exciting sessions (one poster, two oral) around the theme of Environmental and Climate Change in Global Mountain Regions. The MRI also organized an informal side event to complement the AGU sessions. 

Mountains are sensitive to global climate, hold valued archives of changes over time, and closely couple resources and risks to society.  The MRI AGU sessions invited contributions examining past, present, and future environmental change and associated societal impacts in mountain regions. The co-conveners sought measurement and modelling studies of the changing climate, cryosphere, hydrology, and ecology of global mountain environments, including their couplings and implications for mountain social-ecological systems (e.g. hazards, fire, water resources, and other socio-cultural impacts).

 oral session 2

Conveners and presenters, panelists in the Zoom webinar format, excited to begin the second MRI AGU oral session. 

Understanding of elevational gradients of climate change in mountain environments remains limited, due to difficulty resolving mountain terrain in climate models and a dearth of high-elevation monitoring stations in many parts of the world. For this reason, the co-conveners welcomed contributions addressing knowledge gaps in mountain systems, including high-elevation monitoring efforts, measurements across altitudinal gradients, climate downscaling strategies, and remote sensing innovations in mountain environments. 

roxana presents
Maria Roxana Sierra-Hernandez (The Ohio State University) gives an invited talk on 'Tracing Past and Present Air Pollution Sources Using Ice Core Records from High-Mountain Glaciers' during the second MRI AGU oral session.

The dynamic, well-attended sessions featured researchers from Australia, Austria, Canada, Chile, China, Nepal, Peru, Switzerland, and the United States. Within the theme of global change, topics varied widely (e.g., climatology, geoecology, geohazards, hydrology, remote sensing, sedimentology), as did scales (from specific basins and catchments to entire mountain ranges). In the oral sessions, short (four-minute) talks served as overviews of presenters' longer (fifteen-minute) video presentations. Engaged attendees submitted questions through Zoom's chat and Q&A features. Emergent themes in the sessions and side event included the importance of data accessibility and interoperability, as well as the challenges and rewards of fieldwork in mountain regions (both in general, and during the current pandemic). 

sanita presents

Sanita Dhaubanjar (ICIMOD, Utrecht University) gives a presentation on 'Hydropower potential in the Upper Indus basin: From theoretical values to sustainable estimates' during the second MRI AGU oral session. 

The co-conveners would like to thank all those who contributed to the poster and oral sessions, listed below:

Associations among topography, snowmelt, and plant green-up phenology, revealed through a time-lapse camera network
Christian John, Tom Stephenson, and Eric Post

Alpine Plant Functional Traits Change With Increased Soil Temperatures at the SW Montana Gloria Target Region
Martha E Apple, James H R Gallagher, Kurtiss J Winscot and Charles J Apple

Response of Vegetation to Hydroclimate Variability and Wildfire during the late Holocene in the Mountains of the central Great Basin, Nevada, USA.
David Porinchu, Stephen Cooper, Scott A Reinemann, Bryan G Mark, and James Q DeGrand

Global Fiducials imagery for observing long-term forest dynamics in the North Carolina mountains under a changing climate and atmosphere
David Williams, Gary Fisher, Kim Angeli,  and Paul Young

Earlier Snowmelt Decreases Bioclimatic Variation Across Elevation in the Mountains - a Test of Hopkin’s 1920 Bioclimatic Law One Century Later
Heidi Steltzer, Chelsea Wilmer, Amanda Henderson, Bhavna Arora, Yuxin Wu, Haruko M Wainwright, K. Dana Chadwick, Brian Joseph Enquist, Eoin Brodie, Rosemary W H Carroll, Nicola Falco, Zarine Kakalia, Nicholas Bouskill, Charuleka Varadharajan, Patrick Sorensen, Susan S. Hubbard and Kenneth Hurst Williams

Quantifying geodetic mass balance for South American glaciers since the 1970s using KH-9 Hexagon imagery and ASTER DEMs
Morgan McDonnell, Summer Rupper, Richard R Forster and Josh Maurer

Middle Miocene Climate Marked Changes Preserved in saline lake: Qiadam Basin, China
Shijun Song and Lei Huang

Response of Vegetation FPAR in Growing Season to Climate Change in Hengduan Mountains, China
Tingbin Zhang, Guihua Yi, Xiaobing Zhou, Jingji Li and Zhenglan Yang

Reconstruction of snowpack dynamics in the High Atlas by assimilation of data from satellites, ground-station, and reanalysis products
Alexandre Tuel and Elfatih A B Eltahir

Evaluating upslope vegetation migration in a tropical mountainous watershed
Leila Saberi, Rachel McLaughlin, G. H. Crystal Ng, Daniel Stanton, Veronica G. Minaya, Jeff La Frenierre, Carla P. Manciati, Priscilla Muriel and Xavier Zapata-Rios

Downscaling climate in complex terrain with temperature sensor networks: deployment and data analysis challenges
Stuart B Weiss, Andrew G Bunn, and Jamis M Bruening

Climate Change Impacts on Mountains in Coastal Santa Barbara Based on 30 Years of High Resolution Downscaling
Leila V Carvalho, Katelyn Zigner, Charles Jones, Gert-Jan Duine and Callum Thompson

Timing and correlation of glacial and glaciofluvial sediments in the German Alpine Foreland
Florian Hofmann, Dominic Hildebrandt and Anke Maria Friedrich

Measuring Soil Moisture and Climate Across an Elevational Gradient in a Catchement the Colorado Rocky Mountains
Elise C Osenga, Julie A. Vano, James C Arnott, John Katzenberger, Asa DeHaan and Andrea Sanchez

Initial Wildfire Carbon Loss Quantities for Above and Below-Ground Sources in Waterton Lakes National Park, Canada
Sam Gerrand, Laura Chasmer, Jesse Aspinall, Chris Hopkinson and Thomas Jensen

Recent temperature change on the Juneau Icefield, Alaska.
Bradley R Markle, Ryan Ryan, Ona M Underwood, Jackie Bellefontaine, Abigail Lambert, Paola S Araya, Brendon Owczarek, Andi Gschwentner,  Ela Muehl

Scales of Synchrony of Subalpine Ecosystem Changes over the Past Six Millennia
Andrew Flaim and Bryan N Shuman

Tracing the impact of glacial melt on the hydrology of the Andean Nevado Coropuna glacier and adjacent drainages
Elizabeth Joy Olson, Lisa R Welp, Marty D Frisbee, Odiney Alvarez, Sebastian Adolfo Zuñiga Medina, Wendy Rocio Roque Quispe, Midhuar Arenas Carrion, Carol Isabel Salazar Mamani and Jose Diaz Rodriguez

Multi-annual measures of rock glacier-wide volume change and surface kinematics in Great Basin National Park
Forrest Scott Schoessow, Nischay Soni, John-Morgan Manos, Saurabh Vijay, Bryan G Mark, James Q DeGrand and The OSU Mountain Drone Team

Assessing disturbance severity with lags in post-fire mortality in subalpine forests of the Sierra Nevada
Sara Winsemius, Hugh Safford and Yufang Jin

The Potential for Ventenata dubia to Intensify the Annual Grass Driven Transformation of the American West Now and in the Future
Becky K Kerns, Jeff Hollenbeck, Ty Nietupski, John B Kim, Rebecca Lemons and Claire Tortorelli

Changes in the snow-rain transition altitude along the South American Andes
Simone Schauwecker, Katerina Goubanova, Shelley MacDonell, Alvaro Gonzalez-Reyes and Maximiliano Viale

The Impact of Increased Aridity on Catchment Scale Sediment Flux in the Andes Mountains of Argentina and Chile
John R Slosson, Christa Kelleher and Gregory D Hoke

Weather, snow and ice: Hydrological and landscape changes in the Canadian Rockies headwaters (Invited)
Caroline Aubry-Wake and John W Pomeroy

Groundwater in high mountains: Climate change impacts on a hidden water resource (Invited)
Lauren Somers, Jeffrey M McKenzie, Bryan G Mark and Michel Baraer

Future scenerios of glacier lake outburst flow occurrence over Andean tropical areas in Peru: Palcacoha lake case.
Christian Yarleque, David Garay Marzano Sr., Carlos Poma, Stephan Harrison, Sarah Rose Shannon, Joanne Laura Wood, Ryan Wilson, Harrinson Jara Infantes, Efrain Yury Turpo Cayo, Enver Melgarejo Romero, Tito Tinoco Meyhuay Sr., Juan Carlos Torres Lázaro, Adriana Caballero Bedriñana, Hilbert Villafane Gomez, Julia Araujo Reyes and Neil F Glasser

Temperature Lapse Rate and Freezing Level Variability in the Peruvian Andes
Robert Ake Hellstrom, Bryan G Mark, and Alfonso Fernandez

How Does the Proximity of Mountain Glaciers Affect the Microclimates of Adjacent Forests in Southeast Alaska?
Julia Pearson, Benjamin Gaglioti, Daniel H Mann, and Gregory C Wiles

Lakes and Watersheds in the Sierra Nevada (California): Responses to Environmental Change
John M Melack, Steven Sadro, James O Sickman, and Jeff Dozier

Studying geo-ecological succession in the deglaciating Alps and Andes combining ground NIR camera and satellite imagery with field data
Anaïs Zimmer and Timothy Beach

The Bushfire Crisis: Implications for Australia’s Unique Mountain Ecosystems (Invited)
James Camac, Richard J Williams, Ary Hoffmann and Peter Vesk

Assessing recovery of the Australian mountain systems following the 2019-2020 wildfires using a network of monitoring and experimental manipulation infrastructure
Zachary Alexander Brown, Adrienne Nicotra, Susanna Venn, Mark Joseph Hovenden, Ben Kefford, Angela Moles, Geoff Cary, Marta Yebra, Justin Borevitz, Elcho Rohling, Don Driscoll, Will Cornwell, David Keith, Greg Summerell, Mick Pettit, Tim Brown and Abigail Widdupd

The Post-Wildfire Impact of Burn Severity and Age on Black Carbon Snow Deposition and Implications for Snow Water Resources, Cascade Range, Washington, USA
Susan Kaspari, Ted Morgan Uecker, Keith N Musselman

Tracing Past and Present Air Pollution Sources Using Ice Core Records from High-Mountain Glaciers (Invited)
Maria Roxana Sierra-Hernandez, Emilie Beaudon, Stacy E Porter, Paolo Gabrielli, Ellen Mosley-Thompson and Lonnie G Thompson

Timing and Magnitude of Last Deglacial Warming in High-Elevation Regions of Eastern Equatorial Africa
Sloane Garelick, James M Russell, Adin Richards, Nate Anderson, Meredith A Kelly, Margaret S Jackson, Jamila Smith and Bob Nakileza

Vulnerability of ski tourism towards internal climate variability and climate change
Fabian Willibald, Ralf Ludwig,  and Adrienne Grêt-Regamey

Tackling Holocene Transitions in Two Alpine Valleys as a Basis for Sustainable Development: Similarities and Differences in Geo- and Biosystems
Andrea Fischer

Hydropower potential in the Upper Indus basin: From theoretical values to sustainable estimates
Sanita Dhaubanjar, Arthur Friedrich Lutz, David E.H.J Gernaat, Sonu Khanal, Santosh Nepal, Arun Bhakta Shrestha, and Walter W. Immerzeel

Cover image from poster Assessing disturbance severity with lags in post-fire mortality in subalpine forests of the Sierra Nevada by Sara Winsemius, Hugh Safford, and Yufang Jin. "We are using the lidar to determine the initial number of trees and aligning the imagery with lidar using image segmentation and supervised classification... Figure 2. Lidar processing step, with each canopy isolated using the lastrees function in lidR. Pastel colors identify the separate tree crowns."

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