Workshop on Organizing Climate Sciences in the American Cordillera


March 29, 2006

NOAA Earth System Research Laboratory, Physical Sciences Division researcher Dr. Henry Diaz is co-chairing the "Workshop on Organizing Climate Sciences in the American Cordillera" with Dr. Ricardo Villalba, Director of the Instituto Argentino de Nivolog’a, Glaciolog’a y Ciencias Ambientales (IANIGLA). Some 60 scientists from more than 10 countries will meet at IANIGLA in Mendoza, Argentina on April 4Š6, 2006 to consider questions related to climate change and impacts on the American Cordillera (Tierra del Fuego to Alaska). Topics include paleoclimate and modern climate observations, climate variability and change, detection and attribution of climate changes, and impacts on water supply, ecosystems and biodiversity, agroecosystems and landscape transformations, and institutional arrangements and future research directions.

Background:
Mountains of the world are critically important as a source of water resources for over half of the world's population, and also contain much of the planet's biodiversity. Mountains have been called the Earth's Third Pole and Water Towers for the 21st Century. However, comparatively little is known about climatic changes in these high-elevation regions, because there are very few observations above the valleys and plateaus where most people in mountainous areas live. This workshop, focused on the American Cordillera--the Andes Mountains of South America and North American Rockies--aims to begin to address some of the climate observation issues and identify important areas where research into climate variability and change would provide useful information to decision makers in the region. The Workshop is financially supported by NOAA/CPO, the Mountain Research Initiative, under the Swiss National Science Foundation, the World Bank, and by several other institutions.

Significance:
NOAA has been asked by the World Bank to evaluate areas where its climate monitoring and research activities could provide useful information and expertise for decision making and implementation of actions to mitigate the expected impacts from climate change. Participation in this workshop supports NOAA's mission goal of understanding climate variability and change to enhance society's ability to plan and respond, and NOAA's cross-cutting priority of international cooperation and collaboration.

Contact: Henry Diaz