Avalanche Risk
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2022 ◽  
Vol 22 (1) ◽  
Taline Zgheib ◽  
Florie Giacona ◽  
Anne-Marie Granet-Abisset ◽  
Samuel Morin ◽  
Aurore Lavigne ◽  

2021 ◽  
Vol 4 ◽  
pp. 1-8
Aurora Rapisarda ◽  
Andrea Marco Raffaele Pranzo

Abstract. During the last decades, the process of explaining life-threatening natural hazards to the public has become a major public issue from the point of view of effective prevention policies. The avalanche risk and the communication methods aimed at its forecasting and prevention constitute the focus of this paper. Among the strategies for an effective communication of environmental risks, cartography plays a pivotal role. It has proved to be essential not only for communication purposes, but also for the planning of prompt and efficient preventive interventions; in so doing, it contributes to the reduction of avalanche-caused damages and deaths. The paper investigates prevention and forecasting activities of the Meteomont Service of the Alpine Troops Command (COMTA) of Bolzano (capital city of the province of South Tyrol - North Italy), resulting in the daily publication of avalanche bulletins (Bollettini valanghe), which also include hazard maps. Specifically, the phases that contribute to the production of the avalanche bulletin and the embedded avalanche risk maps will be firstly examined; secondly, such maps will be analysed in order to assess their communicative potential for the purpose of a correct interpretation aimed at the effective prevention of snow-related risks in mountain areas. Possible improvement will be proposed on the basis of the experience of several avalanche warning services worldwide.

2021 ◽  
Matthew Benjamin Stephensen ◽  
Torsten Martiny-Huenger ◽  
Christin Schulze

Disagreement persists about the origin of confidence and the internal signals that influence its formation. Using combined individual participant data from four studies (N = 181), we examined confidence in relation to the perceived source of uncertainty for a risk judgment and explored the roles of domain-specific experience and affective evaluations in the formation of confidence. In each study, participants with domain-specific experience (backcountry skiers) performed complex risk judgments (judging avalanche risk) for multiple highly uncertain contexts (hypothetical scenarios in avalanche terrain). We examined whether more experienced participants could better recognize the inherent uncertainty of the decision environment, and if they did so with greater confidence. For complex tasks such as judging avalanche risk, experience should increase a person’s understanding of the probabilistic, unpredictable nature of that environment. Yet our findings suggests that participants of all levels of experience attributed uncertainty to their own judgment process rather than to the limitations and inherent uncertainty of the environment. We also examined whether participants’ affective evaluations influenced confidence in their risk judgments. Affective evaluations are understood to play a crucial orienting role in the risk judgment process. We found evidence of an interplay between affective and cognitive judgments in the formation of confidence. Participants were more confident when their affective evaluation matched their risk judgment, and less confident when there was a mismatch between the two. Our research illustrates a troubling limitation in the development of confidence with experience and the potential (dis)advantageous effect of affective evaluations on confidence in certain contexts.

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