October of this year was the warmest month ever in Switzerland.
October, the warmest month since Swiss measurements began in 1864, is drawing to a close. Temperatures reached over 25 degrees locally on Friday, for example in Mervelier JU. According to the Weather Service, the night was also record-breaking at slightly higher altitudes.
Ritu Knutti, 49, a climate physicist at ETH Zurich, wasn’t surprised by the exceptionally warm Indian summer, he tells Blake. His bleak predictions suggest that “climate change will inevitably advance, and heat waves or warm phases will become more frequent in all seasons.”
Four strong – but bad – trends for Switzerland
According to Knutti, there are four “strong trends” in Switzerland that have been observed and accounted for for a long time:
- More intense and longer heat waves
- Increased drought in summer
- Heavy rain can lead to flooding
- Less snowfall, which encourages melting glaciers
In Zermatt VS, the ski races were canceled recently – because it’s too warm. Will snow return to Switzerland? “It’s always possible to have one cold winter with a lot of snow, but it’s becoming more and more an exception,” Knutti says. “The snow line has already risen by 400 meters and is likely to rise by another 400 metres. Natural snow cover is likely to fall 50 percent below 2,000 meters above sea level and by 30 percent above 3,000 metres.
Even if Switzerland doesn’t turn into a desert for the foreseeable future: “Extremely dry summers like 2018 and 2022 have shown us that massive damage can already occur today. No water for farming, threats to fish, risk of forest fires, impact on shipping, capacity problems Cooling for nuclear power plants,” Knutti says. “We will have to find ways to deal with these risks.”
Developing countries suffer the most
Concern about climate change is also growing internationally. The situation is particularly precarious in emerging and developing countries. That is why Egyptian Foreign Minister Samih Shoukry (70), the designated chair of the UN Climate Change Conference COP27, called for more financial aid to poor countries. He told the German News Agency in Cairo that the previous aid “has no real impact” in combating global warming. “I don’t want to underestimate the importance of commitments. But $100 billion on a global scale, on the scale of the capabilities of industrialized countries, whose budgets sometimes reach trillions of dollars – that’s small.
Swiss expert Knutti warns that geopolitical tensions due to climate change are inevitable. but why? The effects of climate change are particularly evident in emerging and developing countries because they often live off agriculture. At the same time, they have neither the money nor the technology to respond effectively. They didn’t cause the problem, but they suffer the most.”
‘We’re standing in our way’
Climate change and its negative effects extend across the globe. Swedish resilience researcher Johan Rockström, 56, recently warned in “Parents”That the world is “very, very close to irreversible climate change” and “time is running out really fast, really.” UN studies confirm this thesis. Knutti also warns: “It’s already five to twelve, or fifteen in the afternoon if you want to reach the 1.5°C goal.”
But: “This letter doesn’t do us much good.” In the end, every ton of carbon dioxide avoided brings us2, every other tenth of a degree. “So let’s think about what we can do today to get started on this path.” Knutti predicts that about half of the climate changes here could be avoided by the middle of the 21st century. “To do this, however, the world must reduce CO2 by 20302-Cut emissions in half and reach net zero by 2050.”
More recently, the United Nations has criticized the lack of “serious attempts” to do so around the world. “We stand in our way with a lot of vested interests,” Knutti asserts. According to the climate expert, it is not only clear what to do, but also that it is worth it: “economical for Switzerland, our planet and the next generation.”
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