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An integrated model framework for snow avalanche detection and early warning in Switzerland

 

Climate change already affects snowfall and snow depth patterns in the Alps, and these changes will likely become more pronounced in the future. The impact of climate change on avalanche release is still largely unknown, as only very few studies have investigated this. This is in part because there are not many long-term avalanche records to analyze historic trends, and in part because models were lacking to assess the influence of various climate scenarios on avalanches. The influence of climate change on avalanches also have direct consequences for avalanche professionals, who have limited experience in dealing with extreme weather conditions that are becoming more frequent. The goal of this project is therefore to take advantage of recently developed avalanche models and detection systems to setup a model framework for avalanche forecasting in Switzerland and to assess changes and uncertainties in avalanche hazard due to climate change.