Food insecurity grows in world’s mountain regions

Mountain populations of Asia are particularly prone to vulnerability. A woman in traditional dress performs a prayer ritual in the Himalayas, Namche Bazar, Nepal.

Mountain populations of Asia are particularly prone to vulnerability. A woman in traditional dress performs a prayer ritual in the Namche Bazar, Nepal. Photo courtesy UN FAO.

329 million mountain people face hunger in the world’s developing countries

Staff Report

The world’s mountain people are among the hardest hit by hunger and malnutrition, experts said in a new study released on International Mountain Day 2015 (Dec. 11).

Even though there has been some progress in addressing food security on a global scale, that hasn’t been the case in mountain regions, where the number of people facing hunger and malnutrition grew by 30 percent between 2000 and 2012.

The study, released by the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization and the Mountain Partnership, maps the vulnerability of mountain peoples to food insecurity. In developing countries, there are now 329 million people facing food insecurity, up from 253 million in 2000.  Continue reading

Morning photo: Celebrate mountains

International Mountain Day

People around the world today are celebrating International Mountain Day as a way of recognizing the importance of mountains to the environment, culture and spirituality. High peaks have been sacred places for wisdom seekers since the dawn of humanity, but like the rest of the Earth, they’ve been exploited for economic gain the past few centuries. It’s time to stop the plunder, like mining and clearcutting, and time to start respecting mountains for what they give us. And the world’s mountain regions ‚ including the Rockies — also face serious threats from global warming. Share some mountain love today and check out more on social media channels under the #mountainsmatter and #IMD2015 hashtags on Twitter. #FriFotos also has a mountain theme today.

Mountains matter!

Dec. 11 is International Mountain Day

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Celebrate mountains! @bberwyn photo.

Staff Report

Mountains are much more than just a scenic backdrop for tourist snapshots.They are reservoirs of biodiversity and water, helping to sustain life in the valleys and plains below. And since the dawn of humankind, high peaks have drawn people as places of profound insight, spiritual awakening and inspiration.

Once a year, led by the UN, the world celebrates those gifts with International Mountain Day. This year’s theme is focused on mountain products, especially in developing countries, where the creation of sustainable mountain economies will contribute to a better future for what traditionally have been some of the poorest areas in the world. Continue reading

Morning photo: Winter glow

Snow!

Fresh snow on Tenmile Creek in Summit County, Colorado.

November snow on Tenmile Creek in Summit County, Colorado.

FRISCO — Usually in mid-November I’m waiting for snow, photographing ice formations on local creeks. But this year, the snow came before the ice, which means that some familiar spots look quite different. It’ll be interesting to see how the ice forms this year, as the snow is sure to be a factor in shaping the process. In some cases, the snow appears to insulate the streams from the cold air, inhibiting ice, but in other places, the spray from the creeks will saturate the snow and gradually turn it into ice … stay tuned for more! Continue reading

Morning photo: Post-storm glow

November …

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Sunlight paints Peak 1, in the Tenmile Range, as a winter storm clears out.

FRISCO — I feel like I’ve been holding my breath the past few weeks, waiting to see if it will actually snow. That late-fall period has been suspenseful for me since I was a little kid, starting to get seriously hooked on skiing, but the feeling has intensified the last few years, as global warming creates more and more uncertainty in global weather patterns. From the way I understand it — and I’ve been studying this a lot — there’s every reason to believe that we could experience a winter without much snow at any time. Just look at California the past few years. It’s easy to see how a shift of the regional weather pattern could bring a sustained and bitter drought to Colorado. That’s probably why I breathed such a deep sigh of relief this week as the skies finally relented and dropped more than a foot of snow even here at the valley level in Frisco.

Follow our Instagram feed for daily photo updates and visit our online gallery for a great selection of Colorado landscape and nature images, available as fine art prints and greeting cards. Continue reading

Morning photo: Mountain glow

Peak light

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An eclipese-tinged glow over the Rockies, photographed from Loveland Pass, Colorado.

FRISCO — There are times when the light in the mountains totally blows my mind, and when it’s easy to understand why mountains have long been considered sacred, and even dwelling places of the gods. It seems, sometimes, that if one could only gaze upon the peaks long enough, all the mysteries of the universe would be revealed. So there are times that, after taking a few photos, I set down the camera, hoping to gain a little more insight into this great wonderful world of ours. Continue reading

Climate: Heat-trapping greenhouse gases the biggest driver of global glacier meltdown

‘In our data we find unambiguous evidence of anthropogenic contribution to glacier mass loss’

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Shrinking glaciers on the Dachstein Mountains in Austria will affect water supplies far downstream in local areas and in distant rivers. bberwyn photo.

Staff Report

FRISCO — Some of the world’s glaciers were shrinking before the onset of unchecked heat-trapping pollution, but the human factor in the glacial equation has grown exponentially in the past few decades.

A new modeling study led by scientists at the University of Innsbruck (Austria) shows that only about 25 percent of the global glacier mass loss during the period of 1851 to 2010 is attributable to anthropogenic causes. However, between 1991 and 2010 the fraction increased to about two-thirds.

“In the 19th and first half of 20th century we observed that glacier mass loss attributable to human activity is hardly noticeable but since then has steadily increased,” said researcher Ben Marzeion, explaining that scaled-down regional models can detect an anthropogenic influence in America and the Alps, where glacier changes are particularly well documented. Continue reading

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