Mountains are complex social-ecological systems and natural laboratories in which to tangibly explore and understand how drivers and processes of global change manifest in specific contexts. In this session, we invite interdisciplinary contributions that examine past, present, and future environmental change and associated societal impacts in mountain environments. This session is open to conceptual as well as empirical measurement and/or modelling studies of mountain climate, cryosphere, ecology, hazards, and hydrology, which also incorporate coupled studies on socio-economic dimensions and risks. Mountains as complex terrain can be difficult to adequately parameterize in (climate) models and many areas of the world lack high-elevation monitoring infrastructure that can record data at the relevant locations, densities, scales, frequencies, and resolutions needed. Likewise, there is a need to capture and account for socio-economic changes such as demographic and land-use change and their projections to improve our understanding of how hazards, vulnerability, and exposure interact in terms of impacts and risks. We particularly welcome contributions that describe how steps are being taken to address such knowledge gaps, including high-elevation monitoring efforts, measurements across elevational gradients, climate downscaling strategies and remote sensing innovations, and integration methods that include societal data and information to characterise and represent a more comprehensive systems approach to global change.
This session is supported by the Mountain Research Initiative and the Institute for Interdisciplinary Mountain Research of the Austrian Academy of Sciences.
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