If We're Going to Climb Mountains, First the Earth Needs to Make Them | Smart News | Smithsonian
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If We're Going to Climb Mountains, First the Earth Needs to Make Them

Temujin Doran's video explores the processes that affect mountain evolution

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The story of mountains—the slow processes of erosion and uplift, of tectonic drift and aeolian deposition—is, in its own way, a fundamental facet of the story of human civilization. In India, the annual monsoon is caused, in part, by the presence of the Himalayas; shifts in the monsoon helped bring down one of the Earth's first great civilizations. Hannibal's conquest of the Alps, in the 200s B.C., is a celebrated facet of military history. Even in the U.S., an infant nation on geological timescales, mountains affect where we live (coastal California), and where we don't (Death Valley).

In the video above, Tamujin Doran explores the processes that control mountain evolution. Doran's beautiful writing is accompanied by gorgeous footage captured in Iceland.

Doran's video focuses on processes: how the sun and wind and rain affect a mountain's face. For Minute Earth, Henry Reich and team answers a more specific, related question: "How Tall Can Mountains Be?"

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About Colin Schultz
Colin Schultz

Colin Schultz is a freelance science writer and editor based in Toronto, Canada. He blogs for Smart News and contributes to the American Geophysical Union. He has a B.Sc. in physical science and philosophy, and a M.A. in journalism.

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