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APECS International Online Conference 2021_Poster presenta

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APECS International Online Conference 2021 - Session 4

Title: Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Polar Science: APECS Alpine Cryosphere Group experiences

Presenter: Rodrigo Paidano Alves

Institution: Institute of Biology, University of Graz, Graz, Austria

Type: Poster

Category: Alpine

Abstract: The term ‘Alpine’ has a pre-Roman origin, with ‘alp’ meaning for “mountain” referring to the entire mountains system or used as a general substitute for mountains. These landscapes provide natural and patrimonial goods coming from their distinctive climatic, ecological, geological and hydrological settings. Mountains also have an integral part of the terrestrial cryosphere (encompassing snow, glaciers, and even permafrost), providing a regulating function for water collect, storage and distribution toward the lowlands. In these regions, alpine ecosystems can be defined as high-altitude habitats above the tree line and are subject to extreme abiotic conditions, playing a key role in terrestrial carbon storage. Understanding the structure and how alpine ecosystems are naturally regulated is a significant challenge, especially their global biogeochemical cycles. An increasing number of researchers are working in the mid-latitude cryosphere, including high-altitude alpine environments (e.g., Third Pole or Himalayas), not just the Polar Regions (e.g., Arctic and Antarctica). In this context, the Association of Polar Early Career Scientists (APECS) Alpine Cryosphere Mountain Group was created to improve resources for non-polar researchers through building partnerships and sharing information. The project group aims to provide a network platform and provide valuable resources for early-stage scientists working on alpine and cryospheric environments. Thus, Alpine Cryosphere Mountain Group members can stimulate the defense, preservation, and conservation of the environment, and promote the sustainable development of polar, oceanic, and cryospheric environments. Regardless that research projects involve geology, ecology, chemistry, botany, hydrology, or zoology, the emergence of the covid-19 pandemic put a strain on research activities, forcing scientists to adapt and react to this new reality. Sharing these experiences with other research groups working on mountain ecosystems can be used as a valuable lesson, and a reminder to adapt and develop the capacity to amend unexpected scenarios, which will be essential to the future of research related to alpine sciences and perhaps also elsewhere.

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