AdaptAlp - Adaptation to Climate Change in the Alpine Space

Background and Goals

Climate change is largely based on rising temperatures and changed precipitation patterns. Every change in these critical factors has an impact on the frequency and extent of natural hazards. Uncertainty and an increase in natural hazards as a result of climate change call for common and harmonised management in the Alpine region.

AdaptAlp is designed to improve and extend the available information on the effects of climate change through detailed modelling and assessment results, primarily at a regional level. In addition, risk assessment in the Alpine region is evaluated, hazard maps are generated and risk management options are outlined. The project's activities are mainly concentrated on highlighting the best methods and deriving adaptation measures for model regions from experience using proven methods. In addition, it aims to reduce the risks of climate change for the population by raising awareness among local interest groups. The know-how gained as part of AdaptAlp will be published and is intended to be incorporated into specialist authorities' practices.

Content time


Research area/region

  • Germany
Region of implementation (all German federal states)
  • Bavaria
Natural spatial classification
  • Alps

Steps in the process of adaptation to climate change

Step 1: Understand and describe climate change

Approach and results 

Based on the global SintexG model, the regional Cosmo-CLM climate model is used to calculate various climate scenarios. Firstly, this provides simulations for the period 2000-2100 with a spatial range of 12 km. In addition, the project partners are working on a smaller scale (range < 10 km) version of CLM for the period 1965-2035.

To enable the results of climate scenarios to be used for hydrological applications in small river drainage basins, the project partners are working on the development of a bias correction to improve the quality of the input parameters for a water balance model.

Parameter (climate signals)
  • Altered rainfall patterns
  • Higher average temperatures
  • Storm
Further Parameters 

radiation, wind speed, relative humidity

Further times 

1965-2035 and 2000-2100

Step 2a: Identify and assess risks - climate effects and impact

Approach and results 

Climate effects are studied in AdaptAlp in relation to changes in hydrological parameters. The AdaptAlp project is primarily based on the results of the preceding ClimChAlp project. This project researched the possible and existing effects of climate warming on different sectors in the Alpine region.

Step 2b: Identify and assess risks - Vulnerability, risks and chances

Approach and results 

The local vulnerability to natural hazards and the resulting risks are considered. Adaptive capacity is a component of the vulnerability analysis. Resilience is considered in the context of adaptation strategies: these are intended to enhance resilience to the risks posed by natural hazards.

Urgency and priorization of adaptation needs 

Adaptation measures can only be derived from scientifically sound results and best practice examples. AdaptAlp meets the need for a clear definition of design events, standardisation of hazard mapping and improved transnational dialogue on risks.

Step 3: Develop and compare measures

Measures and/or strategies 

Adaptation is one of the key elements of disaster prevention. As part of the AdaptAlp project, adaptation measures and strategies are derived from the results of the individual work packages. In addition, one of the objectives of the project is to increase risk awareness through a range of events and campaigns, and to improve disaster management by providing appropriate tools and information.


a) Youth campaigns and workshops to increase risk awareness;

b) Harmonisation of definitions, databases and management strategies;

c) Provision of a planning tool for disaster management;

d) Compilation of best practice examples for adaptation and management;

e) Formulation of a common strategic paper (CSP) with recommended actions for decision makers at community and regional level.

Time horizon
  • 2021–2050 (near future)
  • 2071–2100 (far future)


Funding / Financing 

AdaptAlp is being co-financed with funds from the European Fund for Regional Development (EFRD) under the European Territorial Cooperation programme for 2007-2013.

Project management 

Bavarian Ministry of the Environment and Public Health (StMUG)

  • Bav. State Ministry of the Environment and Public Health (DEU),
  • Bav. Environment Agency (DEU),
  • Federal Institute of Hydrology (DEU),
  • Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and Water Management (AUT),
  • Provincia Autonoma di Bolzano (ITA),
  • Ministero dell’ Ambiente e delle Tutela del Territorio e del Mare (ITA),
  • Geološki Zavod Slovenije (SLO), CIPRA Deutschland e.V. (DEU),
  • Office of the Carinthian Regional Government (AUT),
  • Office of the Tyrolean Regional Government (AUT),
  • Arpa Piemonte, Centro Regionale per le Ricerche Territoriali e Geologiche (ITA),
  • Regione Autonoma Valle d’Aosta – Assessorato Territorio, Ambiente e Opere Pubbliche (ITA),
  • Pôle Grenoblois d’Études et de Recherche pour la Prévention des Risques Naturels (FRA),
  • CEMAGREF, HHLY (FRA), Accademia Europea di Bolzano (ITA),
  • Federal Office for the Environment (CH)

Bavarian Ministry of the Environment and Public Health (StMUG)
Rosenkavalierplatz 2
D-81925 München

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Fields of action:
 agriculture  soil  spatial, regional and urban land use planning  tourism industry  transport, transport infrastructure  water regime, water management  woodland and forestry