, Volume 110, Issue 4, pp 489-490
Date: 09 Nov 2012

Special issue: 125 years of high-mountain research at Sonnblick Observatory (Austrian Alps)

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It was in 1886 when the Sonnblick Observatory, in the Austrian Alps, was built through the fortunate circumstances that the idea of meteorologist Julius Hann was brought into practice by the local gold miner Ignaz Rojacher (Fig. 1). This was at a time when people thought that it is impossible to survive the harsh winter months with the extreme climate conditions at such elevations. Until today everyday live at the observatory has changed significantly. It moved to an outstanding research platform with cable car access, power supply, internet connection, etc., but it is still remote—not only for people but also from local pollution sources, which makes it an ideal place for environmental research (Fig. 2). The celebration of the 125th anniversary was not only a ceremonial act at the observatory but also the occasion for an international conference on “Climate Change in High Mountain Regions” in the City of Salzburg in September 2011. The response to the announcement of the conference wa