About the Special Event
Assessing the state of mountains with respect to global change phenomena such as climate change inevitably demands a concerted and collective interdisciplinary effort that not only responds to the assessment-relevant knowledge needs but also actively engages in its knowledge production process. In the context of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the contributions from the scientific research community to respond and contribute to specific knowledge needs are constrained both by what is available in terms of data, analyses & modelling, and information, and by the assessment goals and objectives, particularly when these are expected to support climate policy processes and action. The IPCC sixth assessment cycle (AR6) provided an opportunity to see much-awaited mountain-specific assessment content on the state of climate change in mountains. Chapter 2 “High Mountain Areas” of the IPCC Special Report on the Ocean and the Cryosphere in a Changing Climate (SROCC) presented an assessment of observed changes in the high mountain cryosphere, their resulting impacts and adaptation responses to those specific impacts. The Cross-Chapter Paper “Mountains”, as part of the Working Group II contribution to AR6 on Impacts, Vulnerability and Adaptation, expanded on this assessment by including mountain regions more generally, specifically on impacts, adaptation, and climate-resilient development. Before AR6, the last time climate change in mountain regions were systematically assessed in IPCC reports was in Chapter 5 of the Second Assessment Report (SAR), with projections made at the time of changes expected towards the middle of this century that are now seen as lived experience as early as the past decades.