There is increasing concern about impacts of climate change on high mountain glaciers and snow ablation, and the effects of glacier reces- sion on sea-level rise, natural hazards and water resources. The conference “High mountain gla- ciers and challenges caused by climate change” was held in Tromsø on 8–10 June 2009, initi- ated by the Norwegian Ministry of the Environ- ment in cooperation with the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP), and host- ed by the Norwegian Polar Institute. The con- ference gathered leading scientists from glaci- ology, geography, resource management and related fields to discuss the latest research on high-mountain glacier meltings and the conse- quent effects on downstream regions.
This report presents an update based on pre- sentations and working group discussions at the conference, combined with recent compila- tions on issues of food security, disaster man- agement and the need for adaptation, including from the Himalayas Climate Impact Assess- ment pilot study (ICIMODa-b, 2009; UNEP, 2009; 2010b). It outlines status and trends of high mountain glaciers in relation to climate change, identifies challenges and knowledge gaps, and finally makes recommendations for adaptation, research and policy.