Swiss researchers sound alarm over climate change effects on mountains

(Clean Energy Wire, 11 Dec 2023) Climate change has particularly severe impacts on mountains across the globe, as glaciers disappear, dangerous rockslides and avalanches become more likely, and biodiversity decreases, Swiss researchers have warned.

"The biggest challenge for science and society is to deal with the enormously rapid changes that are currently taking place," Nadine Salzmann from the Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research (WSL) told newswire dpa on the occasion of International Mountain Day on 11 December. Temperatures are rising particularly rapidly in the mountains around the world.

As less snow falls, darker rocks appear and less sunlight is reflected back into space. Salzmann said mountainous regions have hardly any experience with the extreme meteorological events becoming more common with climate change, such as droughts and heavy precipitation. "We must also try to think the 'unthinkable' in order to be prepared for plausible but highly unlikely worst-case scenarios, but without being too alarmist," said Salzmann, who works at the WSL Institute for Snow and Avalanche Research (SLF) in Davos.

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Clean Energy Wire, 11 Dec 2023: Swiss researchers sound alarm over climate change effects on mountains