A story of hotspots and stepping stones
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A story of hotspots and stepping stones

Predicting the faith of exotic plant species in cold-climate mountains Abisko, a small village north of the polar circle in Swedish Lapland. The origin of several mountain trails, winding through the pristine subarctic vegetation towards the breathtaking views at the top. A vegetation mostly consisting of slow-growing mosses and dwarf shrubs that seem to have […]

Austrian Glacier Serves As Site for Mars Simulation
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Austrian Glacier Serves As Site for Mars Simulation

A manned mission to Mars is one step closer to becoming a reality thanks to a remote glacier in western Austria known mostly for its surrounding ski slopes and snow-capped mountain vistas. This post was originally posted last year on the GlacierHub.org by Ashley Chappo. The Kaunertal Glacier, located in the Tyrol state of Austria, recently served […]

Ecological and Socioeconomic Impacts of Climate-Induced Tree Diebacks in Highland Forests
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Ecological and Socioeconomic Impacts of Climate-Induced Tree Diebacks in Highland Forests

Background Mountain forests play a major role in the preservation of biodiversity and provide important ecosystem services such as climate regulation. However, some of these forests show extensive tree mortality (“forest diebacks”) caused by a combination of factors, such as severe and recurrent summer drought, pollution, and insect and pathogen outbreaks. Some of the most […]

‘Mountains 2016’ dedicated to Mountains’ vulnerability to climate change
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‘Mountains 2016’ dedicated to Mountains’ vulnerability to climate change

It has been more than two months since Mountains 2016 took place in Bragança, Portugal. The outcomes and impacts of the conference were many and all of them significant. Mountains 2016 included the X European Mountain Convention (X EMC), dedicated to “Mountains’ vulnerability to climate change”, and the 1st International Conference on Research for Sustainable […]

Visualizing glaciers of the past in the Tatras
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Visualizing glaciers of the past in the Tatras

Glaciers in the Carpathians?? Although there are no glaciers to be found in the Carpathians today, there is rich evidence of previous glaciation in the highest parts of these mountains. In fact, over the last 2.5 million years the Carpathians experienced glaciation several times. Since successive glaciations tend to destroy much of the evidence of […]

Does it really matter what a mountain is?
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Does it really matter what a mountain is?

Earlier this summer, on a Future Earth excursion to Crans-Montana in Switzerland, I asked my colleagues to look out the bus window and think about which of the landforms along the way they would consider mountains, and why. This might seem like a trick question: for most people, everything along the route from Bern to […]

Barbeque is not on the menu
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Barbeque is not on the menu

With autumn well on its way in the Northern Hemisphere, this is a perfect time to share one of our autumn field stories from the top of the world: Lapland. Hurry inside and grab your warmest blanket, this story is going to be chilly! On the 5th of September, a late summer heat wave was […]

If you have sore legs, is it a mountain?
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If you have sore legs, is it a mountain?

From camp to ‘The Ridge’, we had hiked half a mile and gained about 500 feet (~150 m) elevation. We were standing on land that had been under ice less than a couple thousand years ago and Russell Glacier and the Greenland Ice Sheet was just a mile or two away. We were at 1,300 […]

Landscape experts meet in the European Alps
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Landscape experts meet in the European Alps

Around 200 participants from Europe, Asia and the Americas met at the PECSRL 2016 conference in Innsbruck and Seefeld, Austria, from September 5 to 9 to discuss the past, present and future of rural mountain landscapes. Dating back to 1957, the Permanent European Conference for the Study of the Rural Landscape (PECSRL) is an international […]

Weather lessons learned (or not) in the European Alps (Part 2)
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Weather lessons learned (or not) in the European Alps (Part 2)

I’ve always enjoyed thunderstorms, and look forward to the dozen or so that pass each year over my home in Eugene, Oregon. And as an avid backpacker, climber, skier and kayaker I’ve occasionally found myself cowering from the wind, rain, small hail and lightning during storms in the Cascades and Sierra Nevada, but these events […]