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Original article (peer-reviewed)

Journal Theoretical and Applied Climatology
Title of proceedings Theoretical and Applied Climatology
DOI 10.1007/s00704-012-0689-8


Mountain observatories around the world are unique sites for monitoring and investigating variations, trends, forcings and feedbacks in the climate system, which are of utmost interest for understanding global climate change. From the small number of these research platforms, Sonnblick Observatory (Austrian Alps) stands out because of its long time series dating back to 1886 at an elevation of 3,100 m a.s.l. The paper describes the contribution of mountain observatories to climatology by the example of Sonnblick Observatory. The observatory's scientific evolution is summarised, starting from the original idea of upper air atmospheric measurements to its recent role as an atmospheric background station and interdisciplinary research site.