Glacial meteorology




Why to study the mountain climate and why to analyse the meteorological conditions at the highest elevations? One of the main reasons is that mountain areas represent optimal sites where to detect the Global Change and to evaluate the climate-induced effects (Beniston, 2003). As a consequence of the rapid climatic changes with altitude, hydrological and vegetational features are subject to large variations occurring over short horizontal distances (Whiteman, 2000). Beside of this, the mountain morphologic and ecologic systems are often unique and endemics. Some mountain ranges have been defined as “islands” in the surrounding plains (Hedberg, 1964). From the socio-economic point of view, mountain areas are an attraction to many people interested in the tourist and recreational opportunities they offer: this has the effect to create a useful income source for the local population, but also determines an ever increasing environmental stress which often act in synergy with the effects of Global Change (Godde et al., 2000).
Recent researches (Beniston, 2003) have thus suggested investigating the effects of Global Change in remote areas at high altitudes or high latitudes, where direct effects of human presence can be expected to be low or nonexistent. The study of the effects of Global Change on limited parts of our Planet (as in the Alps or in selected parts of them) is justified by the topographic and orographic complexity typical of mountain areas which imply fast and abrupt variations of climatic parameters, such as temperature, precipitations and radiation (Becker and Bugmann, 1997).


Why to study the mountain climate
ALPINE GLACIERS AS WITNESSES OF THE ONGOING CLIMATE CHANGE
TO DETECT ON THE ALPS THE ONGOING CLIMATE CHANGES
SUPRAGLACIAL MICROMETEOROLOGY
THE ITALIAN NETWORK OF SUPRAGLACIAL AWSs
AWS FORNI: THE FIRST ITALIAN AWS
AWS DOSDE’