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Global Change and the World's Mountains

Type of publication Peer-reviewed
Publikationsform Original article (peer-reviewed)
Publication date 2012
Author Messerli Bruno,
Project Global Change and Mountain Regions: the Mountain Research Initiative Coordination Office
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Original article (peer-reviewed)

Journal Mountain Research and Development
Volume (Issue) 32(S1)
Page(s) S55 - S63
Title of proceedings Mountain Research and Development

Open Access


The history of mountain research is most fascinating. Three names for 3 centuries may give an idea of the growing knowledge about the world's mountains: Horace Bénédict de Saussure, who climbed and studied the Mont Blanc in 1787; Alexander von Humboldt, ever investigating the environment during his attempt to ascend the Chimborazo in 1802; and Carl Troll, who founded the International Geographical Union's Commission on High-altitude Geoecology in 1968. Awareness of the growing impact of human activities on the environment led to scientific and political initiatives at the global level, beginning in the 1970s. The Perth conference in 2010 has offered an opportunity to both look back on these developments and explore the future of the world's mountains in a time of rapidly growing “global change” problems and processes.