What is the current state of climate change research in Alpine Protected Areas (PAs)? What is the geographical distribution of climate change research projects in the Alpine PAs? What factors are shaping the current distribution?
Science, despite being one of the most universal social endeavours of mankind, is not equally practiced everywhere in the world. Science maintain different roles in different protected areas. As a result, there are regions where scientific information is created more frequently. At the same time, different places are following different scientific paths. It is no surprise that Yellowstone National Park is involved in the creation and circulation of studies on wildlife and the effects of climate change, and produce scientific research more than any other protected area in the world. Conversely, it is highly surprising that climate change science can be completely excluded by the research activities carried in some protected areas in the Alps. International monitoring initiatives, in the meantime, are promoting the circulation of science beyond borders, and providing us with data and powerful images of the effects of climate change from all parts of the world. It is normal, in our everyday scientific landscape, to see proofs of new pioneer species settling in mountaintops in the Tien Shan Range, while living at the foothills of the Alps. We are accustomed to seeing pictures of glacier melting in National Parks in the Andean Cordillera while we spend time monitoring the upward and northward distributional shift of butterflies species in the Rocky Mountains. However, we seldom inquire in the precise geography of the distribution of scientific research. Which protected areas in which regions are producing more research? What are the factors that influence distribution? This work aims at filling exactly this gap, with a particular focus on the Alpine range.
Source: Tolusso E. 2018. Alpine Protected Areas in a Changing Climate. A Geography of Science Perspective. Dissertation. Ph.D. School in Philosophy and Human Sciences, Università degli Studi di Milano.