I hope that you have been able to start working your way through the first Lesson on this first official day of this Mountains 101 Study Group! I am really looking forward to the next four weeks. And to provide another opportunity to interact we have decided to scheduled a ‘live’ one hour session - with me - next Tuesday, beginning at 0700 Pacific time (1000 Eastern; 1500 GMT). Details to follow, but everyone is welcome to join.
To provide some focus to this ‘live’ session I thought is would be useful to provide a few additional resources to help you become more familiar with the locations and diversity of mountains around the world.
The Mountains 101 mapping tool (at the end of each Lesson) provides a basic orientation to the location of individual mountains and mountain ranges discussed in the course. However, there are several other mapping and visualization tools that are designed specifically for mountains. I have listed three of these below - you might want to spend a few minutes exploring a few mountain areas that you are curious about.
- Global interactive 3D map of Earth mountains:
This is a basic 2D or 3D map of Earth, with individual mountains shown (elevation in feet). A fun way to travel around the world and find lots of mountains!
- Global Mountain Explorer: https://rmgsc.cr.usgs.gov/gme/
Although the answers to the questions 1) “what is a mountain?” and 2) “where are the mountains of the world?” might seem obvious and intuitive there are surprisingly few attempts to rigorously and consistently define and map mountains. This Global Mountain Explorer was developed for web-based browsing and visual comparisons of what are referred to as the K1, K2, and K3 characterizations of global mountain extents. The first global mountains classification was produced by Kapos et al. (2000), herein referred to as K1. The second global mountains map was produced by Körner et al. (2011), herein referred to as K2. The third was produced by Karagulle et al. (2017), herein referred to as K3.
- Global Mountain Biodiversity Assessment: http://www.mountainbiodiversity.org/explore
This mapping tool allows you to explore the biological richness in the mountains of the world. It provides species lists for more than 1000 mountain ranges worldwide, global predicted distribution ranges for all listed species, and bioclimatic as well as topographic information for each mountain range. For example, you can take a closer look at some of the mountain treelines we discussed in Lesson 3. And in Lessons 9 and 10 we will look specifically at adaptations of mountain plants and animals.