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Session Overview
KEYNOTE 1: Weather and Climate Modeling in the Alps: From the Early Beginnings to Climate Change
Monday, 09/Sep/2019:
8:40am - 9:05am

Location: Congress center
Sall Innsbruck
by Christoph Schär

Session Abstract

The fascinating Alpine weather has always attracted much attention and many early studies are testimony to its role in fostering the field of mountain meteorology. Alpine topography influences the weather and climate by deflecting the atmospheric flow horizontally and vertically, by introducing elevated sources and sinks of heat and moisture, by modifying the water cycle, and by inducing waves that propagate deeply into the free atmosphere. The Alpine topography is also essential in inducing extreme climatic conditions at high elevations, and by triggering extreme events such as flash floods and wind storms.

In addition to observations and theory, numerical models of weather and climate processes have increasingly played an important role in the investigation of the underlying phenomena. Early research has attempted to better understand and forecast critical meteorological conditions such as Alpine föhn, lee cyclogenesis and heavy precipitation events. In the last decades, the challenge is increasingly to understand and project the impacts of anthropogenic climate change on Alpine weather and climate. The range of Alpine climates that needs to be considered is tremendous and covers almost that of the whole European continent, but within a horizontal range of less than 1000 km. Particular attention will be devoted to the role of climate models in projecting anthropogenic effects on Alpine snow cover and heavy precipitation events. These factors are essential for the Alpine environment, its hydrological cycle, and extreme events relating to avalanches, flash floods and mudslides.

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Conference: IMC 2019
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