MRI News

This MRI-funded synthesis workshop, which became a small research project during the pandemic (fieldwork led by African students), addressed smallholder farmers’ adaptation to climate change in 10 African mountains.

With an emphasis on everyday practices of climate change adaptation among small-scale farmers in African mountains, workshop organizers sought to improve understanding of the challenges and opportunities for Transformative Adaptation to Climate Change; foster inter-regional dialogue; and initiate a network of mountain experts, providing opportunities for follow-on exchange and collaboration.

In a new research article from GEO Mountains, Thornton et al. analyse the coverage of in situ climatological observations across the world's mountains. 

In situ climatological data from the world's mountains are crucial for many applications. As such, any limitations associated with such data (e.g., limited spatial density of stations, short record lengths, relative lack of observations at higher elevations, etc.) can impinge upon several important activities, not least tracking changing mountain climates, better understanding the key processes and feedbacks involved, and making reliable projections of change impacts.

In April 2022, the Mountain Research Initiative (MRI) signed a Memorandum of Understanding to partner with the TEAMx Programme. This partnership aims to support scientific exchange and collaboration between the two organizations' respective communities. 

The TEAMx Programme (Multi-Scale Transport and Exchange Processes in the Atmosphere Over Mountains) is an international research programme that seeks to improve understanding of atmospheric processes over mountainous terrain. Several members of the MRI Elevation Dependent Climate Change Working Group are also part of the TEAMx Programme, and were instrumental in encouraging this Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in order to support closer links between the two organizations. 

The 2021 Global Mountain Waste Survey was created with the objective of trying to fill a knowledge gap regarding the types and quantity of waste present in remote mountain areas globally.

Based on 1,753 responses originating from 74 different nationalities (initial results, June 4th 2021), the survey gives mountain dwellers and visitors, who are familiar with the environment, a chance to speak up and share their insights on waste. This publication now features improved analysis with a perspective on waste at the continental level, quotes and photos from respondents, and updated infographics.

One of the most comprehensive documentaries ever produced about the relationship between climate change, mountain environments, and glaciers, The Last Glaciers shines a light on the rapid depletion of the world's water towers as a result of climate change. The Mountain Research Initiative is proud to be a science partner in support of this important film.  

Released on World Water Day (22 March) and to be screened in IMAX cinemas worldwide, the highly anticipated documentary The Last Glaciers follows award-winning filmmaker Craig Leeson and United Nations Mountain Hero & Entrepreneur Malcolm Wood over the course of four years as they journey to the planet's remaining glaciers to explore the causes and effects of climate change in mountains – the location of our planet's vital, and vanishing, water reservoirs.

Research led by Dr. Estefania Quenta-Herrera, research associate at the Universidad Mayor de San Andrés and a participant in the MRI co-led Mentoring and Training Program in IPCC Processes for Early Career Mountain Researchers, explores the impact of protected areas on high-elevation freshwater ecosystems, their biodiversity, and their ecosystem services in the tropical Andes.

Although protected areas (PAs) play an important role in ecosystem conservation and climate change adaptation, no systematic information is available on the impact of PA in terms of the protection of high-elevation freshwater ecosystems, their biodiversity, and their ecosystem services in the tropical Andes. Research published in the journal Environmental Conservation seeks to help address that gap.

On 10 February 2022, the Mountain Research Initiative and the Inter-American Institute for Global Change Research signed a Letter of Understanding to explore the joint promotion and implementation of projects and activities of mutual interest in the areas of research, capacity building, and the science-policy interface. 

The Inter-American Institute for Global Change Research (IAI) is a regional intergovernmental organization that promotes transdisciplinary scientific research and capacity-building to inform decision-makers for the development of public policy relevant to global change.  With an interest in collaborating and cross-promoting initiatives in areas of scientific research and capacity development, as well as in supporting decision-making in environmental management through information that allows an integrated approach to the socioeconomic and environmental challenges faced in mountain regions in the Americas, the IAI and the MRI have signed a Letter of Understanding. 

Enhanced mountain warming coupled with reduced elevation dependency of precipitation may deplete stores of mountain snow and ice more rapidly than previously thought, new research conducted by the MRI’s Elevation-Dependent Climate Change Working Group has found.

Mountains hold most of the world’s snow and ice outside of polar regions and play an essential role in supplying water to meet the needs of both fragile ecosystems and a significant proportion of the world’s population. By the mid-21st century, it is anticipated that about 1.5 billion people in lowland areas – almost a quarter of the world’s lowland population – will critically depend upon water from mountains. The retreat of glaciers, rising snow lines, and changes in precipitation as a result of climate change, both now and in future, therefore have serious implications.

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