Alps in Flux – Climate Change in the Mountains

1 x 45 min

The Alps are in motion as climate change is causing the glaciers to melt. Media reports are growing ever more frequent of mudflows, rockslides or entire summit areas that are threatening to collapse. Is this perception now borne of sensationalism, or are the mountains really tumbling down? In this documentary, Christiane Sprachmann and her team explore the question of how dangerous the alpine habitat is becoming for us humans and what can be done about it. Erosion and landslides in the mountains are, in essence, natural phenomena. That said, climate change can intensify and accelerate erosion processes in various areas. On the one hand, higher temperatures melt the permafrost, the “cement of the Alps” that holds the rocks together in the higher regions. On the other hand, it is the intense precipitation that sets landslides and rockfalls in motion. Melting glaciers form lakes, which threaten the valleys in the form of falling waves in the event of a landslide. But the documentary also presents solutions. After all, these are hazardous scenarios that we need not necessarily be exposed to without protection. Scientists try to narrow down and understand the areas with mapping and analyses. Calculations of fall trajectories and hazard patterns help to install early warning systems, while barriers protect populated areas and roads.

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