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Research focus & key questions

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Global warming is changing the face of high mountain regions. For instance, it accelerates glacier melt and permafrost thawing and modifies the snowpack and alters ecosystems. Consequently, significant proportions of rock and soil masses may be destabilized and mobilized, the propensity for rock falls, debris flows, landslides and avalanches will change, and, at the same time, forest disturbances like windthrow or forest fires will weaken the protection forests. As a result, people will have to adjust their socio-economic behaviour.

Individual processes can result in cascading processes when processes transit, merge and intertwine, and considerably intensify the extent of the original event, having a destructive impact on the inhabited areas downstream.

Existing models will be "interlinked" to assess the hazard and risk potential of cascading processes, and increased use of remote sensing data is essential for documentation, monitoring and model calibration. The role of liquid water needs to be investigated to improve and test numerical models accordingly.

CCAMM fosters inter- and transdisciplinary research to respond to the new challenges posed by the impacts of climate change on alpine mass movements. The WSL research program thus addresses a socially relevant question and provides an important contribution to societal adaptation to the effects of climate change.

The WSL research program CCAMM has been researching the topics Hazard Disposition (work package WP1), Dynamics (WP2), and Risk and Adaptation (WP3) since 2018. In 2022 CCAMM was complemented by two new research topics: Cascading Processes (WP4) and Early Warning (WP5). Within these five work packages, CCAMM is researching the abovementioned processes and interrelationships in 22 research tasks to develop optimal adaptive strategies.

A sixth work package, Outreach, ensures effective and well-coordinated communication and outreach. WP6 spans the arc from the CCAMM synthesis, as the primary outreach product of CCAMM, to events for citizens.