Mountain Glaciers and Snow: Worldwide at COP26

((Nov. 7 (Sunday): Entire SEC venue closed, but many outside events))

Nov. 8 (Monday): Mountain Glaciers and Snow: Worldwide

10:00   Southern Hemisphere Glaciers: Andes and New Zealand

The glaciers of the Andes, Patagonia and New Zealand are among those in the world losing ice most quickly.  This event will look at projections for the future at different emissions choices, and implications for water resources and local populations.

Organized by ETH Zurich and University of Victoria/Wellington

Speakers: Lauren Vargo, Victoria University of Wellington/Te Herenga Waka; Loris Compagno, ETH Zurich; Georg Kaser, IPCC/Professor Emeritus, University of Innsbruck

11:30   Snowpack, Glaciers and Water Supply: Future Projections

The IPCC’s recent AR6/Physical Science report noted that glaciers are now receding and losing ice worldwide, even in regions where they seemed stable before.  Most glacier regions have now passed “peak water,” where melt was at its highest. Snowpack also is decreasing in important watersheds, such as the North American West.  Glaciers have shown they can recede quickly and even disappear; but they will be slow to grow back, especially with continued high emissions and temperatures.  What will be the implications for ecosystem services such as electric power, water supplies for drinking and agriculture, and other needs?

Organized by the University of Oslo

Speakers: Regine Hock, IPCC/University of Oslo/University of Alaska; Loris Compagno, ETH Zurich

13:00   Preservation of Glaciers at 1.5°C

For some mid-latitude glacier regions such as Scandinavia and the western U.S., the difference between 1.5°C and 2°C is the difference between some small preservation of glacier ice; and none at all.  A region-by-region run through of the benefits of meeting the 1.5°C goal for the world’s glacier systems.

Organized by the University of Oslo

Speakers: Valerie Masson-Delmotte, IPCC Vice-chair; Regine Hock, IPCC/University of Oslo/University of Alaska; Georg Kaser, IPCC/Professor Emeritus, University of Innsbruck

14:30   Importance of Snow: Seasonal Scottish and U.S. Cryosphere

Scotland has no glaciers, but extensive seasonal cryosphere in the form of snow; supporting an extensive ski industry as well as other forms of recreation.  What is the future of this seasonal snow-based cryosphere in Scotland and globally, and what might be learned from other similar regions with important snow-based industry, such as New England?

Organized by Cairngorms National Park, ICCI

Speakers: Grant Moir, Chief Executive, Cairngorms National Park Authority;

Georg Kaser, IPCC/Professor Emeritus, University of Innsbruck

16:00 Joint Event with Geneva Hub: A fragile future: can mountain communities adapt to climate change?

Climate change threatens the vast high latitude and high altitude cold regions of the world that provide freshwater to over half of humanity. What impacts of climate change on the cryosphere have already been experienced in Latin America, Central Asia and the Andes? What risks will these regions be exposed to? After addressing these questions, the panelists will explore adaptation solutions and experiences, especially in mountain areas, with a focus on developing countries.

Organized by the University of Geneva.

Speakers: Prof. Jörg Balsiger, University of Geneva; Prof. Christian Huggel, University of Zürich; Prof. Martin Hölzle, University of Fribourg; Prof. Markus Stoffel, University of Geneva: Randy Muñoz, University of Zurich; Dr. Carolina Adler, Mountain Research Initiative; Elena Manaenkova, Deputy Secretary-General, WMO;  Dr. Radha Wagle, UNFCCC Focal Point, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Forests and Environment, Nepal; Ms. Nino Tkhilava, UNFCCC Focal Point, Ministry of Environmental Protection and Agriculture, Georgia; Janine Kuriger, Head, Global Programme Climate Change and Environment, SDC; Marlene Kronenberg, glaciologist, University of Fribourg; Miguel Vera-Lugo, Biologist, Consorcio para el Desarrollo Sostenible de la Ecorregión Andina CONDESAN; Izabella Koziell, Deputy Director General, ICIMOD; with the participation of members of the Swiss delegation.

18:00   Life Without Glaciers?

Are we prepared for the loss of our mountain glaciers? Through concrete examples from three continents — the Tarim Basin, the northern Andes and the Alps — we will explore the direct and indirect consequences of glacier loss; needed emissions reductions to prevent or minimize this outcome; ways to adapt, and levels at which adaptation may not be feasible.

Organized by Royal Holloway, University of London

Speakers: Bethan Davies, Royal Holloway; Georg Kaser, IPCC/Professor Emeritus, University of Innsbruck; Regine Hock, IPCC/University of Oslo/University of Alaska; Christian Huggel, University of Zürich

19:30   Cryosphere Cèlidh: Switzerland