An article published in Nature Scientific Reports: Huge decrease of frost frequency in the Mont-Blanc Massif under climate change


Benjamin Pohl, Daniel Joly, Julien Pergaud, Jean-François Buonchristiani, Paul Soare & Alexandre Berger, Nature Scientific reports volume 9, Article number : 4919 (2019)           


This study co-signed by 5 members of the laboratory Biogéosciences (Dijon) was led in the framework of the ANR project « VIP-Mont-Blanc » about the consequences of climate change in the Mont Blanc massif. It is based on 13 models of simulated temperatures used to define the IPCC’s climate scenarios. These data have a coarse spatial resolution, i.e. grid cells of a 100 to 200 km, but have a very high temporal resolution: a daily value of minimum and maximum temperature from 1850 to 2100, amounting to 55 000 days! The algorithm developed by the Bourgogne Franche-Comté team aims at reducing this data’s spatial inaccuracy by “downscaling”. Eventually, the coupling of physical and geographical models provided very high spatio-temporal resolution climate data. At a 200 m resolution over the entire Mont Blanc massif and for 55 000 days, each of the 13 simulations were downscaled according to two scenarios, optimistic vs pessimistic.

Until the middle of the 20th century, the study shows few differences between scenarios but in the second half, strong evolutions arise. Under the pessimistic scenario, every third day will be frostless on the Mont Blanc summit in summer, with a risk of rock wall destabilization and collapse all over the range. Things will be not better in winter with very little snow in the valley.


Mont Blanc JC

                   Mont Blanc massif from the Brévent ; Credit photo : Jean-Christophe Foltête

Last Updated: Monday, 08 April 2019 13:17

PixScape software, devoted to the modelling of landscape visibility, is published in the journal “Transactions in GIS”

PixScape software proposes to integrate a large set of functions for modeling landscape visibility while remaining interfaced with GIS software. This software can be used to perform a complete landscape assessment by computing a wide range of original landscape metrics. It performs tangential analysis in addition to viewshed analysis, which can produce more realistic outcomes. Because landscape visibility analysis over large areas implies significant computation time, the software also integrates a multi‐resolution process intended to speed up calculations while also taking into account the cognitive abilities of human vision.


Yohan Sahraoui, Gilles Vuidel, Daniel Joly, Jean-Christophe Foltête. Integrated GIS software for computing landscape visibility metrics. Transactions in GIS, Wiley, 2018

DOI : 10.1111/tgis.12457

Pixscape website



Last Updated: Friday, 31 August 2018 13:01

Mehdi Iraqi is defending his PhD thesis "Theoretical approaches for a geometrical optimization of urban shapes. Towards a fractal city development." on November 29th 2017 in Besançon.

The defense will take place at the "Maison des Sciences de l'Homme et de l'Environnement Claude Nicolas Ledoux", salle 4 (1 rue Charles Nodier). This work was directed by Pierre Frankhauser.

Defense jury

Pierre Frankhauser, Professor at the University of Franche-Comté 

Gabriel Dupuy, Emeritus Professor at the University Paris I

Geoffrey Caruso, Professor at the University of Luxembourg

Dominique Mignot, Scientific Director of IFSTTAR

Dominique Peeters, Emeritus Professor at the University of Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium

Igor Agbossou, Lecturer at the University of Franche-Comté 



This thesis is based on the challenges of assessing the impacts of urban planning decisions in the light of the imperatives of sustainable development. Beyond the vagueness often emerges from this concept, it is here to conduct a reflection on a balance to be found between the three pillars identified about sustainable development: economic, social and environmental. The aim is to consider how to assess the impacts of development policies in each of these three pillars and what conclusions should be drawn from them? The aim here is to provide answers by assessing the performance of the territories studied in these three pillars of sustainable development. For this purpose, the work is based on simulation models (here the MobiSim model developed within Laboratoire ThéMA) and on the production of synthetic indicators allowing a readable analysis and evaluation of the space. The combination of these synthetic indicators makes it possible to visualize and analyze the sustainability of the territory studied and to deduce the measures to be implemented with a view to ensuring a sustainable development policy. It is a question of putting the methodology and the results obtained into perspective in a global vision, seeking to establish by the balance between the three pillars a harmony which allows to satisfy the objectives of a policy guided by the imperatives linked to the concept of inherited from the Bruntland report. A critical approach to this concept and an analysis of the sets of actors of a territory are here conduits in order to be able to implement the scientific research work within a decision-making process. The challenge is to allow the results of research based on power modeling tools to find a more concrete and operational problem.

Last Updated: Thursday, 23 November 2017 10:13
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