SLF/WSL Has Research Cooperation Agreement with Disaster Prevention Institute
The Institute for Snow and Avalanche Research (SLF) of the Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape (WSL) signed a comprehensive research cooperation agreement with Japan’s National Research Institute for Earth Science and Disaster Prevention (NIED) earlier this month.
While the two institutions have been collaborating on individual research topics, the new agreement will enable enhanced cooperation including sharing of data and facilities and joint research projects in the field on a broader range of topics. It is also expected to enhance researcher and information exchange between the two.
SLF and NIED have a good record of joint research on individual topics. One example is a project to enhance the snow accumulation (physical structure) model developed by SLF to forecast avalanches to accommodate Japan’s wet snow. Another is a joint research on snowstorms at NIED’s Shinjo Cryospheric Environment Laboratory.
NIED develops models to forecast the occurrence of disasters such as avalanche, snowstorms and snow and ice accretion, by observing the amount of snowfall using radars, for example. In recent years, it has strengthened its research on disasters related to wet snow, the risk of which is considered to be growing in light of global warming.
SLF engages in research, scientific services, teaching and public relations, focusing on snow, the atmosphere, natural hazards, permafrost and mountain ecosystems. The institute also offers a range of services. These include consulting, expert opinions on avalanche accidents and avalanche protection, and the development of warning systems for natural hazards in the Alps.