GEO-GNOME Workshop “Essential Climate Variables for Observations in Mountains”

Kulonen, Aino Lyydia; Adler, Carolina; Palazzi, Elisa (2019). GEO-GNOME Workshop “Essential Climate Variables for Observations in Mountains” Bern: Mountain Research Initiative

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Workshop_Report_GEO-GNOME_ECV_ws_June2019.pdf - Other
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Workshop_Report_FINAL_with_DOI_-_GEO-GNOME_ECV_ws_June2019.pdf - Other
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At the GEO-GNOME Status and Scoping Workshop held in Bern in May 20181 , key objectives and tasks listed on its work plan 2017-2019 were revised (see also Adler et al, 2018). The importance of climate as one key driver of environmental change in mountains, with relevant consequences for social-ecological systems, was reiterated. Given already existing initiatives on essential climate variables from observations and modelling, an opportunity was identified to focus attention on mountain-specific needs of key variables allowing from understanding and tracking changes in mountains and their consequences. A transect network of in-situ climate data over elevation gradients (Unified High Elevation Observing Platform, UHOP3 ), together with consistent time series of EO (satellite) data, was suggested as a means to address key observational data gaps and to improve our understanding of processes of elevation-dependent warming (EDW) and elevation-dependent climate change (EDCC) in mountains, and support a systematic strategy for identifying and collecting new observation data. Essential Climate Variables (ECVs) relevant for mountains were identified as a first starting point. They include “pure climate” variables like temperature, precipitation, snow, radiation, wind, etc., as well as other important variables/drivers such as land-cover. With the support from the European Space Agency (ESA), Future Earth (FE), and the Mountain Research Initiative (MRI), the 2019 GEO-GNOME workshop aimed at identifying and selecting
ECVs required in high elevation contexts for the monitoring and better understanding of ‘mountain climate change’, including considerations for integration between in-situ measurements, EO satellite data and modelling. The WMO/GCOS existing catalogue of ECVs was used as initial basis for compiling our list of essential mountain variables. The possibility to use ESA’s existing datasets on ECVs within its Climate Change Initiative (CCI) program was also considered. The key output and outcome of this workshop is a list of ECVs required to observe the processes of elevation-dependent climate change in mountains. In addition, a data collection protocol with identified existing data-sources and criteria for required data quality (particularly the spatial and temporal resolution required) for selected key processes was produced. There are huge observational and information gaps in mountain environments and agreeing on joint protocols and data resolution needed for each relevant process would allow filling these gaps. Collecting data on other environmental processes in addition and in relation to strictly climate-related processes will strengthen GEO-GNOME’s ability to identify relevant data and information that meet the needs of management, policy and scientific research. Making this data discoverable and accessible via suitable data portals, such as the
GEO-GNOME Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEO-GNOME GEOSS, under development), will further facilitate data use and research collaborations.

Item Type:

Report (Report)


10 Strategic Research Centers > Centre for Development and Environment (CDE)

UniBE Contributor:

Kulonen, Aino Lyydia and Adler, Carolina


500 Science > 550 Earth sciences & geology
900 History > 910 Geography & travel


Mountain Research Initiative


[UNSPECIFIED] European Space Agency (ESA) ; [UNSPECIFIED] Future Earth ; [UNSPECIFIED] Mountain Research Initiative


[1265] Mountain Research Initative




Aino Lyydia Kulonen

Date Deposited:

30 Jun 2020 15:16

Last Modified:

24 Jul 2020 17:29

Uncontrolled Keywords:

mountains, earth observations, climatology, climate change




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