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Is Svalbard prepared for extreme rainfall?

Marta Terrado; Dragana Bojovic; Juan Acosta; Linus Magnusson; Morten Køltzow; Thomas Jung

The APPLICATE project releases its second case study that describes an extreme precipitation event that occurred in Svalbard in November 2016. This event was responsible of several landslides and avalanches. We try to illustrate how a better understanding of weather and climate information could improve the preparedness of local populations to deal with events that can be catastrophic, keeping in mind that adaptations that settlements and the environment in Svalbard would demand could set the scene for the rest of the globe. At the same time, this case study also contributes to understanding the linkages between the Arctic and mid-latitudes.

The document is mainly addressed to decision-makers, especially those working in the areas of civil protection and preparedness (e.g. avalanche warnings, preparation for possible perils, adaptation measures implemented as response to a past event) and it can also be of interest for governmental bodies such as the Governor of Svalbard. In addition, it can be extended to other sectors including urban planning (e.g delimitation of risk zones for landslides and avalanches, wildlife protection (e.g. prediction of rain-on-snow events resulting in ice-encrusted pastures and reindeer mass starvation), agriculture (e.g. ice-encrusted crops and mould formation), tourism (e.g. planning of leisure activities like snow-mobile driving, dog-sledging, hiking, etc. and account for activity changes or cancellations) or health (e.g. psychological challenges coming with climate changes).

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