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Adaptation to climate change

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Climate modeling shows that in the near future, Alpine regions particularly will be affected by an increasing frequency and intensity of natural events e.g. heavy rainfall, heat, and storms. We therefore research different possible responses such as the prevention of natural hazards, adaptation to risks and preparation for long-term climate changes.


As a result of climate change, people’s health is increasingly at risk, as well as damage to buildings and infrastructure. Further, those sectors sensitive to weather and snow conditions will have to adapt their practices, something which has positive potential but also poses risks. Examples are the energy sector with changing river flows and water volumes, tourism with changing snow lines, and uncertain weather conditions the, insurance industry with natural hazards, as well as agriculture with dryer, warmer summers, while the forestry sector will have to deal with disasters and droughts.

Politics and society must face the challenge of developing economically feasible climate change adaptation strategies which are broadly acceptable at different levels.

In the research unit “Economics and Social Sciences” investigates the following research themes:

  • Strategies to adapt to the impacts of climate change on policy areas like spatial development, tourism and forestry
  • Adaptive capacity of sectors like spatial planning and tourism
  • Individual and societal perceptions of natural hazards and climatic risks
  • Economic aspects of natural hazards and climate change adaptation, e.g. in forests, agriculture and tourism