Global warming is clearly evidenced by receding glaciers and is largely threatening water supplies. Future glacier retreat in the European Alps, known as the »water towers« of Europe, will drastically affect the regional hydrology, since it is estimated that about 55-85% of summer glacier runoff will be lost by the end of the 21st century. Future water security is dependent on sustainable management of water resources, which is one of key policy challenges in the Alpine region. For developing policies that will ensure an optimal level of adaptation to climate change, it is essential to understand climate change impacts by delivering reliable, accurate and up-to-date data from a scientific community. In the light of this view, the main research objective is to make more accurate predictions of anticipated changes in glacier behaviour and runoff in the Alps that will not be relevant only to a scientific community, but also to policy-makers. This project will deliver new data about glacier response to a changing climate and its impact on meltwater runoff in the main glacierized Alpine catchments by applying state-of-the-art glaciological field techniques and glacio-hydrological modelling. The developments of the glacio-hydrological model will further provide the information on glacier runoff and complex pathways of meltwater over different lihologies including a variety of permeable and non-permeable substrates that represent the range of Alpine bedrock lithologies. Scientists from different, but complementary research fields will collaborate on the project by exchanging new knowledge and bringing their expertise on the state-of-the-art techniques. Apart from the scientific purpose, the project holds a clear strategy on dissemination, public engagement and exploitation with special focus on developing links and providing scientific advice for policy-makers.
Fields of science
Call for proposal
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