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COP26 events series: Focus on the cryosphere (mountains included!)

The cryosphere – namely the frozen components of the Earth system (glaciers, snow and permafrost) – is one of our key life support systems and climate change is irremediably threatening it. Why is the cryosphere so important? For many reasons, including for example that the vast high latitude and high altitude cold regions of the world provide freshwater to over half of humanity. Another example is that vanishing glaciers and the earlier melt of snow will impact runoff in rivers and will likely lead to more low flows and water shortages in future summers. On an even larger scale, the melting ice shields of Greenland and Antarctica will ultimately lead to considerable sea level rise, affecting many vulnerable low-lying countries. Together with the retreating Arctic sea ice, changes in these massive ice shields will strongly impact the global climate.

Below you will find various complementary events exploring the science, challenges and ongoing efforts relating to climate change and the cryosphere.

COP26 Cryosphere Pavilion

During COP-26, 1-12th November, the Cryosphere Pavilion (located in the Blue Zone), will host a full programme of events exploring climate-related challenges in the vulnerable frozen regions of the Earth, including the high northern latitudes and high mountain areas. Background information on the Cryosphere Pavilion and supporting partners can be found here. Further updates will be made available on the International Cryosphere Climate Initiative (ICCI) – website:

These events will be livestreamed on Facebook, YouTube, and Twitch TV.

The full programme of events can be found here:

The Geneva Cryosphere Hub

The Geneva Cryosphere Hub is the link between Switzerland and the Cryosphere Pavilion. The Geneva Hub aims at promoting the work carried out by scientists from Swiss universities and research institutions, in several disciplinary fields related to the cryosphere and at facilitating the dialogue between science, society and policy. More precisely it aims at raising awareness about the critical role played by the Cryosphere, to discuss latest scientific evidence on cryosphere processes and, ultimately, at contributing to enhancing the ambition level to achieve tangible outcomes at COP26.

All the events will be streamed live online and it is possible to attend hybrid events in person in Geneva.

Find details of all the events and several exhibits here:

Adaptation at Altitude at the Cryosphere Pavilion

High mountains are a key and highly vulnerable component of the cryosphere. Partners of the Adaptation at Altitude (A@A) programme, funded by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), will host a number of events during COP26, including:

Information on planned and past A@A events can be found at

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