News

Fire on the mountain

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  13 Sep 2019:
Vol. 365, Issue 6458, pp. 1094-1097
DOI: 10.1126/science.365.6458.1094

You are currently viewing the summary.

View Full Text

Log in to view the full text

Log in through your institution

Log in through your institution

Summary

After climbing the 6268-meter Ecuadorian volcano Chimborazo in 1802, German geographer Alexander von Humboldt proposed that climate is an organizing principle of life, shaping the distinct communities of plants and animals found at different altitudes and latitudes. Two centuries later, that idea is giving scientists an intellectual framework for understanding how human-driven climate change is transforming life. Few places record the impact of climate change more vividly than Chimborazo itself. As a result, the volcano has again become a draw for researchers. Some have tracked how fast the plants that Humboldt observed are migrating upward as temperatures rise. Others are probing how retreating glaciers and shifting vegetation may be altering the flow of water from the mountain to thirsty communities below.

View Full Text

Stay Connected to Science