Navigation – Plan du site

Impacts of climate change on mountain environment dynamics

Call for Papers – Deadline (abstract): December 1st, 2014
Responsible: Monique Fort, UMR 8586 Prodig, & Paris Diderot University

Rationale and objectives

Mountain environments are very sensitive to climate change (Beniston, 2005). They appear among the most severely, and rapidly impacted ecosystems, and can be affected by any change in temperature and precipitation patterns at all scales (Zemp et al., 2009). However assessing the potential impacts of environmental changes is not easy because of the complexity and diversity of mountain systems, and because of the natural intra- and inter-annual variability of the climatic parameters, which make the exact nature of climate change very difficult to evidence (Immerzeel et al., 2010). Indeed, predicting future climate trend relies on both a large network of meteorological stations and modelling outputs from satellite derived data. Trends can actually be generated on a decadal time scale only.

This call for papers is mainly aimed at focusing on the bio-geo-physical mountain systems, their evolution under climate change and its impacts on either natural or socio-economic systems (Ives and Messerli, 1989; Price, 1999; Beniston et al., 2002; Viviroli et al., 2007). This also includes any threat that may affect the economic systems (including tourism activities) and the way of life of mountain communities (Beniston, 2005), in particular the most vulnerable ones living in marginalized (physically and economically) mountainous areas. That is why this call is addressed to both physical geographers/climatologists interested in social issues, and human geographers who are concerned or investigating issues of environmental change.

The main theme is focused on evidence of climate change at local and regional scales.

Several issues can be highlighted:

  • What are the different methods to assess change in climate? What are the best, most accessible and integrative ones?

  • What are the best field indicators of climate change?

  • How to differentiate the impacts caused by climate change s.s., with those linked to land use change?

  • Does mountain population perceive any evidence of climate change (temperature, precipitation amount, seasonality, extreme events) at local scale? Do they feel threatened? How climate measurements and interpreted data are perceived and understood by a non-specialized audience?

  • How do policy makers conciliate socio-economic assets (ski resorts, water supply, etc.) with climate change data and trend?

Any contribution on long term monitoring and/or on innovative methods implying specialists of different environmental parameters (including biogeography, geomorphology, hydrology…) would be most appreciated. Study cases may address either regional or local scale, and should illustrate one or more among the issues listed above. Multidisciplinary approaches are particularly welcome, with study cases on all types of mountain environments (cold-temperate, arid, (sub)tropical), and socio-economic contexts.


Please send abstracts in English (approximately 1000 words) before Dec. 1st, 2014 to, and


Beniston M., 2005.– « The risks associated with climatic change in mountain regions », in Huber U., Bugmann H. and Reasoner M. (eds) Global change and mountain regions: an overview of current knowledge, Springer, Dordrecht, pp. 511-520.

Beniston M. (ed.), 2002.– Climatic Change. Implications for the Hydrological Cycle and for Water Management. Advances in Global Change Research, Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht and Boston.

Immerzeel W.W., van Beek L.P.H., Bierkens M.F.P., 2010.– « Climate Change will affect the Asian Water Towers », Science 328 (5984), pp. 1382-1385.

Ives J.D., Messerli B., 1989.– The Himalayan Dilemma. Reconciling Development and conservation, Routledge, London and New York.

Price M. (ed), 1999.– Global Change in the Mountains, Parthenon Publ., Londres.

Viviroli D., Durr H.H., Messerli B., Meybeck M., Weingartner R., 2007.– « Mountains of the world, water towers for humanity : typology, mapping, and global significance », Water Resources Research, 43 (7), p. W07447.

Zemp M., Hoelzle M., Haeberli W., 2009.– « Six decades of glacier mass balance observations – a review of the worldwide monitoring network », Annals of Glaciology, 50, p. 101-111.

Haut de page