t h e p e r m a n e t p r o j e c t
Permafrost is highly sensitive to climatic changes. Permafrost degradation and related natural hazards affect traffic routes, tourism areas, settlements and infrastructures. However, data on permafrost is spatially inconsistent and a map of the distribution of permafrost in the entire Alpine Space does not exist. Further, the relevance of subsurface ice content in rockglaciers and scree slopes for the hydrologic regime of alpine watersheds regarding water resources management is unknown. A common strategy to tackle these emerging impacts of climate change in risk prevention and territorial development does not exist. Decision makers and stakeholders need to be provided with such information to manage the consequences of climate change impacts on permafrost and the resulting natural hazards.
The overall objective of the PermaNET project is to make an important contribution to the mitigation of natural hazards that result from climate change impacts on alpine permafrost. Through the creation of an alpine-wide monitoring network and by developing a common strategy for dealing with permafrost related hazards PermaNET contributes to sustainable development and the implementation of good governance practices. PermaNET will provide decision-makers and responsible authorities with the necessary decision-bases and strategies to deal with permafrost related hazards. Gaps in the data of permafrost distribution will be closed and a continuous permafrost map and database for the entire Alpine Space will be produced. New and promising technologies will be tested and joint solutions for the adaptation of risk management practices will be explored. Ultimately PermaNET will contribute to push the Alpine Space to be the leading model region in the field of climate change mitigation and adaptation strategies in mountain regions.
The PermaNET project will produce an alpine-wide permafrost monitoring network including an information system and selected monitoring sites, a permafrost map for the entire Alpine Space and a common strategy as well as guidelines for the consideration of permafrost in risk and water resources management. PermaNET will raise awareness of decision-makers and responsible authorities to this topic and provide Alpine-wide decision-bases and strategies. The transnational cooperation (Austria, France, Germany, Italy and Switzerland) in aggregation of existing and collection of new data to produce a common permafrost dataset will reduce costs for adaptation of governance practices to specific effects of climate change.