Call for papers: Special Issue on "Impacts of climate change on the mountain cryosphere and associated responses"

The special issue, with guest co-editors Carolina Adler (MRI), Christian Huggel (University of Zurich), Anne Nolin (Oregon State University) and Ben Orlove (Columbia University), will be published in the journal Regional Environmental Change (REC), focusing on the impacts of climate change on the high-mountain cryosphere and downstream regions as well as response to these impacts.

Through this special issue, we seek to highlight contributions from the mountain research community in providing the
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Special Report on Oceans and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate (SROCC) assessment process with state-of-the-art knowledge and evidence for impacts and adaptation in mountain regions. For this reason, we strongly encourage the mountain research community to make their research known and accessible for this assessment process via this special issue. Paper proposals, as extended abstracts, are to be submitted to the guest editors by 1 August 2017.


Selection of Manuscripts

In order to assess suitability and relevance of manuscripts as contributions for the special issue, we first request proposals as extended abstracts. The extended abstract should include a tentative manuscript title, an author list with contact information, rationale of the paper in the context of the SROCC Chapter 2 “High Mountains Areas”, key sub-areas to be covered, key disciplinary/inter-disciplinary/trans-disciplinary domains and/or literature to be reviewed and assessed, and provisional key conclusions. The extended abstract should not exceed 1 A4-sized page and is to be submitted to the guest editors via email at by 1 August 2017 (midnight CET). A response on selected manuscripts will be communicated by 31 August 2017, with instructions for next steps.


The review process will be facilitated through the REC review website. A minimum of two external reviews will be solicited per manuscript. Authors submitting papers to the special issue also agree to serve as a reviewer for one or two other papers assigned to the special issue (in compliance with the formal requirements posed by the journal), and submit these within the timeframe specified.

Types of manuscripts

For this special issue, preference will be given to review and synthesis papers (Review Articles, up to 8000 words) on the issues listed under “examples of paper topics”, however original research articles (typically up to 12 printed pages) that document single and/or adopt a comparative case study research approach, may also be considered if they are sufficiently relevant in the context of the IPCC SROCC. We particularly welcome inter- and trans-disciplinary papers that also seek to integrate the natural and social sciences.


Given the strict and short time frame for literature to be assessed in the IPCC SROCC, we expect the publication schedule to be fast-tracked in view of the foreseen cut-off date for accepted papers for the SROCC (October 2018, subject to confirmation). In this context, extensions to deadlines cannot be granted.


Due date for extended abstracts (paper proposals) 1 August 2017
Response on selected paper proposals 31 August 2017
Final manuscripts due 31 December 2017
Comments back to authors 31 March 2018
Final, revised papers due 31 August 2018
Publication (continuous online publishing) October 2018

Examples of potential paper topics particularly welcomed by the co-editors, in light of some of the key foci listed for Chapter 2 of SROCC, include:
  • Effects of a changing mountain cryosphere on natural hazards and management options for protecting lives, livelihoods, infrastructure, and ecosystems.
  • Impacts from changes in the mountain environment, including low latitudes (e.g. Himalayas, Andes, Africa) on habitability, community livelihoods and culture.
  • Risks for societies that depend on mountain cryosphere for water resources (e.g. human consumption, ecosystems and agriculture), including cascading risks, and potential response strategies (e.g. national and international water resource management and technologies).
  • Impacts of variability and trends in water supply on hydropower production and implications for energy policy and water governance.
  • Assessment methodologies, including indigenous and community knowledge, risk, including cascading risks, and applications of detection and attribution, and treatment of vulnerabilities and marginalized areas and people.
  • Solutions, including policy options and governance, and linkages to relevant institutional and policy contexts (e.g., UNFCCC, Paris Agreement and SDGs, Sendai Framework).

Please send your extended abstract proposals to   by 1 August 2017. Thank you! We look forward to your contributions.