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New research undertaken by the MRI Mountain Observatories Working Group identifies both gaps and recent advances in the monitoring of key biophysical and socioeconomic variables in the mountains, and proposes ways to improve and connect existing initiatives – with the ultimate aim of developing a global mountain observatories network. Lead author Maria Shahgedanova explains why making these connections for our changing mountains is so crucial.

Mountains matter. Covering up to 30 percent of the planet’s land surface, mountains are home to between 0.9 and 1.2 billion people, host approximately a quarter of the planet’s biodiversity, and the enormous range of ecosystem services they provide are vital to human well-being. Over half of humanity’s freshwater, for example, originates in the world’s mountains. Unfortunately, mountains are also particularly vulnerable to the impacts of climate and other global changes – with significant implications for ecosystems, biodiversity, and human health, safety, and security. In order to meet future challenges and identify appropriate sustainable development pathways, we need to understand the complex biological, social, and physical processes in mountain social-ecological systems.

The Group on Earth Observations (GEO) 2021 Virtual Symposium took place virtually from 21-24 June. GEO Mountains organised a session focused on the symposium theme Strengthening inclusive partnerships across the GEO Work Programme.

The MRI Mountain Resilience Working Group hosted a successful summer school in Ostana, Italy and online, from 5-12 June 2021. 

'Designing for Resiliency: RE:GENERATE alpine-urban circularity' was an experiential educational co-creation hybridizing science, design, social outdoor joy, and local action organized by ETH Zurich, EPFL Lausanne, and the MonViso Institute and partnering with The Oslo School of Architecture and Design, TU Delft, and Politecnico Torino. The instructional team included MRI Mountain Resilience Working Group Co-Leads Tobias Luthe and Romano Wyss, with institutional support from MRI Co-PI Adrienne Grêt-Regamey

The latest issue of the open access journal Mountain Research and Development contains studies on indigenous-driven sustainability initiatives in the tropical Andes, urban risk knowledge, and the danger of glacial lake outburst floods in the Indian Himalayas. 

Vol 41, No 1 of Mountain Research and Development (MRD) includes new research that maps English-language scientific journal articles that analyze the climate change adaptation options planned or implemented in European mountain regions – and finds key knowledge gaps in academic literature that need to be addressed. MRI Executive Director Carolina Adler is among the authors.

The third event in the MRI Anniversary Lecture Series took place this month, 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.

The American Geophysical Union (AGU) Fall Meeting 2021 will be held in New Orleans, USA and online from 13-17 December 2021. The AGU Fall Meeting is the leading forum for advancing Earth and space science and leveraging this research toward solutions for societal challenges. The MRI is convening an exciting mountain-focused session.

Abstract submission deadline 4 August 2021.

The MRI's session at the Sustainability Research & Innovation Congress 2021 highlighted examples of how key components of risk are accounted for in mountain contexts, and their implications for sustainability. 

The Sustainability Research & Innovation Congress 2021 (SRI2021) took place June 12-15. As part of this virtual event, MRI Executive Director Carolina Adler and Scientific Project Officer Gabrielle Vance convened the session 'Addressing Systemic Risks in Social-Ecological Systems: Mountains as Contexts for Evidence and Action.' The session included presentations by MRI SLC member Irasema Alcántara-Ayala, University of Innsbruck Professor Margreth Keiler, and University of California, Berkeley PhD student Kate Cullen

Climate change is causing mountain snow to melt more rapidly and glaciers to shrink, with a widely varied impact on water supplies in Asia according to a new paper published in the journal Science.

These effects are altering the water supplies of more than one billion people who depend on rivers that have their headwaters in the Himalayan and Karakoram mountain ranges, according to the new paper 'Glaciohydrology of the Himalaya-Karakoram' that appeared in Science this month. 

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