Mountain permafrost is a fascinating phenomenon: It is invisible, extremely variable and heterogeneous, difficult to measure, difficult to model, and it currently undergoes rapid changes. These changes can affect landscape dynamics as well as human infrastructure and safety. Despite this importance, most systematic investigations of mountain permafrost at present are local in nature, because the strong heterogeneity of the system and the limited amount of available data often preclude continental-scale evaluation and modeling. In the future, however, an increased resolution of global and regional climate (or earth system) models, or the improved representation of mountain topography at the sub-grid scale, will likely allow the explicit consideration of mountain permafrost in continental-scale assessments.

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