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Human-induced climate change is causing dangerous and widespread disruption. Safeguarding and strengthening nature is key to securing a liveable future, latest IPCC report says.

Human-induced climate change is causing dangerous and widespread disruption in nature and affecting the lives of billions of people around the world, despite efforts to reduce the risks. People and ecosystems least able to cope are being hardest hit, said scientists in the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report, released today.

Satellite images could offer a new way to monitor for avalanche threats to remote mountain communities, according to University of Aberdeen scientists studying deadly Himalayan avalanche.

The team from the University of Aberdeen’s School of Geosciences used satellite imaging to study the movements of two avalanche events, in 2016 and 2021, that happened in the same Himalayan valley. The most severe of these, which struck a high-mountain township in India’s Chamoli district on February 7 last year, caused a flash flood that killed more than 200 people and destroyed key infrastructure.

This paper by Price et al. presents a synthesis of the outcomes of sessions and recommendations for future research in mountain areas from the International Mountain Conference (IMC), held in Innsbruck, Austria, in September 2019.

In this focus issue, studies from Nepal, India, Pakistan, Portugal, Morocco, Argentina, Ecuador, and across the Andes investigate factors affecting pastoral social-ecological systems in mountains, and how societies respond to environmental, socioeconomic, and political changes.

The studies also present recommendations for action on behalf of sustainable development, especially toward enhancing resilience in mountain pastoral systems. The guest editors hope that the rich insights will spark multistakeholder collaboration and innovation to tackle the challenges facing pastoralists and rangelands in mountains today.

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. 

Melting and sublimation on Mount Everest's highest glacier due to human-induced climate change have reached the point that several decades of accumulation are being lost annually now that ice has been exposed, according to a University of Maine-led international research team that analyzed data from the world's highest ice core and highest automatic weather stations.

The extreme sensitivity of the high-altitude Himalayan ice masses in rapid retreat forewarns of quickly emerging impacts that could range from increased incidence of avalanches and decreased capacity of the glacier stored water on which more than 1 billion people depend to provide melt for drinking water and irrigation.

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.

The International Mountain Conference 2022 will take place 11-15 September in Innsbruck, Austria. Join representatives of the MRI for a number of exciting Focus Sessions!

The International Mountain Conference 2022 (IMC2022) aims to build upon the previous mountain conferences and continue this scientific conference series exclusively targeted towards mountain research. Hosted in the Alps, IMC2022 is a key opportunity for experts from different disciplines to discuss mountain-related issues in a cross-disciplinary setting. The key goals of the conference are to synthesize and enhance our understanding of mountain systems, in particular their response and resilience to global change.

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