EGU21-1729, updated on 03 Mar 2021
EGU General Assembly 2021
© Author(s) 2021. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Understanding the impacts of climate change on high mountain practices: the case of the Mont Blanc massif through an interdisciplinary approach

Emmanuel Salim1,2, Jacques Mourey3, Ludovic Ravanel1,3, Pierre-Alain Duvillard1, Maëva Cathala1, Florence Magnin1, Philip Deline1, Suvrat Kaushik1, Grégoire Guillet4, Xavi Gallach1, and Marie Olhasque1
Emmanuel Salim et al.
  • 1Univ. Savoie-Mont-Blanc, CNRS (UMR 5204), Edytem, France (
  • 2Collectif Perce-Neige, Labex ITTEM, Grenoble-Alpes University, France
  • 3Institute of Geography and Sustainability, University of Lausanne, 1015 Lausanne, Switzerland
  • 4University of St-Andrews, United Kingdom

The intensity of the current climate change has strong consequences on high mountain tourism activities. Winter activities are currently the most studied (ski industry). However, the consequences of environmental changes are also strong in summer, as geomorphological processes are enhanced at high elevation. The Mont Blanc Massif (Western Alps) is a particularly favourable terrain for the development of research about these processes. Emblematic high summits (28 of the 82 peaks > 4000 m of the Alps), dozens of glaciers, strongly developed tourism with summer/winter equivalence, active mountaineering practice, etc. all contribute to the interest of studying this geographical area. A lot of work has been carried out on glaciological and geomorphological issues. These studies, which deal with "physical" impacts of the climate change on the high mountains, are also supplemented by studies of their consequences on human societies, as its impacts on practices such as mountaineering or glacier tourism. Risk-related issues are also taken into account with, for example, the stability of infrastructure (huts, ski lifts) or the impact of glacial shrinkage on the formation of new and potentially hazardous lakes. Accordingly, the aims of our presentation are to show the extent of the research developed on climate change in the Mont Blanc massif and how social and environmental sciences are interlinked to provide a holistic vision of the issues of this territory. As these experiments are not exactly interdisciplinary experiments, this presentation also aims to discuss the points that need to be further developed in order to promote inter- and trans-disciplinary research.

How to cite: Salim, E., Mourey, J., Ravanel, L., Duvillard, P.-A., Cathala, M., Magnin, F., Deline, P., Kaushik, S., Guillet, G., Gallach, X., and Olhasque, M.: Understanding the impacts of climate change on high mountain practices: the case of the Mont Blanc massif through an interdisciplinary approach, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-1729,, 2021.

Corresponding displays formerly uploaded have been withdrawn.