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  • Vulnerability of Mountain Societies in Central Asia

    A new study investigates the adaptive capacities of mountain societies in Central Asia to reduce their vulnerability to climate change and help them better cope with weather extremes. The vulnerability of mountain societies in the Pamir and Tien Shan mountains is impacted by their often remote locations, outdated infrastructure, and poor access. The need is high to develop effective strategies and adaptation measures to mitigate the severe impacts of climate change.

  • Increased Discharge in the Tianshan Glacierized Watersheds

    In the arid and semi-arid regions of Central Asia, including western China, the glaciers of the Tianshan Mountains are an important water source for the inhabitants of the area. But accelerated glacier retreat is an unfortunate product of the changing climate, and the Tianshan glaciers are no exception.

  • Local Communities Support Reforestation in the Peruvian Andes

    Human activities have drastically reduced the natural habitats of Polylepis, a rare genus of tree species that dominates the high altitude forests of the Andes and can grow from an elevation of 3000 meters close to the glacier line, at approximately 5000 meters above sea level. A recent analysis by Beatriz Fuentealba and Steven Sevillano of reforestation efforts centered on Polylepis in Ancash, Peru, has highlighted the importance of local communities for the successful implementation of these activities.

  • These Indigenous Communities are Models for How to Adapt to Climate Change

    When the poisoned river ran red with heavy metals, people from nearby communities didn’t believe at first that climate change was to blame. In remote mountain villages around the Rio Negro, adaptation efforts took a curious and innovative form.

  • Alaska Governor Issues Order on Climate Change Strategy

    Alaska Governor Bill Walker has issued an order on climate change strategy, with the intention to create a flexible and long-lasting framework for Alaskans to build a strategic response to climate change. Walker has also appointed members of a climate action leadership team to design the strategy and work on mitigation, research and investigate ways to reduce the impacts of climate change.

  • Glacier Retreat Impacts the Winter Olympics

    The 2018 Olympic Winter Games in South Korea are quickly approaching. How have melting glaciers impacted the beloved Games, and how are Olympic officials and athletes responding to it?

  • As Alaska Glaciers Shrink, Salmon Populations May Also Decline

    A new study investigates the future impacts of climate change on healthy salmon populations in the Alaska region through a case study based on the Kenai river and the Chinook salmon. This topic is of great importance for the fishing communities: indigenous, sport and commercial fishers in the area.

  • Using Film to Reduce Risk on Volcanoes

    For people to cope with environmental hazards, they need to understand threats – a key step that can lead to behavior change. A recent paper by Anna Hicks et al., published in the International Journal for Disaster Risk Reduction, describes the importance of communicating glacier hazards and other risks. The authors made videos and then assessed…

  • Learning from a Flood-Alarm System’s Fate

    A longer version of this post appeared in the April 2017 issue of EcoAmericas. When a flood from a mountain lake threatened to swamp the town of Carhuaz in the Peruvian Andes early one morning in April 2010, Víctor Rodríguez was the only person who knew. From his hut on a plain below the mountain,…

  • Flooding Glacial Lakes in Chile

    It is a peaceful experience to walk near the glacial lake near Colonia Glacier, one of several prominent glacier lakes in Patagonia, Chile. The breeze on the lake helps you relax as you look out on the distant glaciers. In such a tranquil setting, it is hard to imagine that a glacial lake outburst flood…