Until recently, little consensus currently existed regarding which variables should be considered absolute observation priorities for monitoring and understanding the drivers, responses, and impacts of ongoing climate-driven change in global mountains.

To address this, a group of interdisciplinary mountain scientists built upon a workshop convened by GEO Mountains in June 2019 to rank numerous potentially relevant variables according to their perceived importance.

On the basis of this work, several recommendations for further work could be made, both in terms of how to obtain and more efficiently use observations of these potential so-called Essential Mountain Climate Variables (EMCVs), and the steps that could be undertaken to formalize the concept. Phase 1 of this project is now complete, with a paper having been published in the journal One Earth in 2021. 


Further work remains to be undertaken if the concept is ultimately to be formalised and widely applied, however (Phase 2; the formalization of the concept). 

In the presentation below, James Thornton presents Phase 1 of the project.

Presentation abstract: In this presentation, James describes some of the initial steps that have recently been undertaken towards establishing a set of interdisciplinary climate-related variables (so-called Essential Mountain Climate Variables, EMCVs) that should be prioritised for systematic observation across mountain regions globally in order to provide more uniform reporting information and build more reliable predictive models. He also provides an outlook on possibilities to either strengthen the measurement of EMCVs, or else exploit existing EMCV data more efficiently. One approach, combining in situ and remotely sensed observations, is exemplified with respect to a distributed, energy-balanced based snow model. Finally, future steps towards the concept’s formalisation – to which the community is warmly invited to contribute – is proposed. 

View the lecture in full below:

Download the presentation slides here. To see the animations, please view the recording. 

Take the brief suvey looking towards Phase 2 here

Contact: Dr. James Thornton, MRI / GEO Mountains (james.thornton@unibe.ch)

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