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Lauren Reible

Jan 21, 2016

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Stoffel, Markus, and Christian Huggel. "Effects Of Climate Change On Mass Movements In
Mountain Environments." Progress In Physical Geography 36.3 (2012): 421-439. Academic
Search Premier. Web. 21 Jan. 2016.
This article brings to light the lack of research carried out on the recent climate changes
effects on mountains and the impact on environments of higher altitude. With this goal in mind,
the article goes on to explain the differences in precipitation and temperature between high and
lower altitudes in the past before the climate was impacted so drastically. Now with the change
in climate there have been reportable a higher concentration of heavy precipitation events
occurring at the tops of these mountains. These events, which are caused by the climate change,
have lead to drastic changing in the placement and frequency of snow covers as well as a lack of
landslides at lower altitudes. These changes as higher altitudes have also caused destruction of
glaciers creating glacier lakes which are very hazardous due to the risk of flooding caused by
landslides filtering into the lakes raising the water levels. Due to the increase in temperatures and
rainfall, not only are the environments of mountains being effected but so are the rocks and
stability of the physical structures. By using this research as proof, the author goes on to caution
others as to the hazardous effects that the rapidly changing climate and environment can have on
mountain's movement.
I believe the authors of this article limited themselves in their field of research by basing
their constant on findings from the 1960's. Even though climate change was not as prevalent
then, the environment has no constant and any findings, especially ones that are discovered 50
plus years later, will be dramatically different. This article had a wonderful opportunity to really
focus on how the change in environment impacted the physical structure and surroundings of
famous mountain ranges but limited themselves by only studying the structure of the Swiss Alps
and only coming up with one example of a glacier lake. Based upon the title that this author
chose, I do not believe that they met their goal of proving mass movements. Even though their
main focus was supposed to be the physical movement of mountains caused by landslides,
glacier disintegration, and the cracked and unstable infrastructure of the physical mountains
ranges, they focused more on the differences in environment surrounding the mountains from the
past to now. Their research was far too narrow and examples of the effects of climate change too
general to successfully prove their topic.