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Warmest decade for at least 130 years

A willow tree in spring; willows have been known to go into bud already during the mild winter months.

A willow tree in spring; willows have been known to go into bud already during the mild winter months. © skrumme/pixelio

The last ten years will go on record as by far the warmest in the alpine region since systematic records began. In Germany even the "cool" year 2004 with an average temperature of 9.0 degrees centigrade was well above the climatological mean for Germany, at 8.2 degrees.
The past decade broke all the records, whatever the season. Summer 2003 was in a league of its own. The warmest autumn was in 2006, followed by the mildest winter in 2006/2007, and the warmest spring in 2007 since measurements began.
Compared with the 1990s, temperatures on either side of the Swiss Alps were half a degree warmer. At medium altitudes the temperature increase for the period 2000 to 2009 was around 0.3 degrees centigrade while high alpine regions were a good 0.2 degrees warmer than in the 1990s. Considered across the entire decade, the increase in temperature at higher altitudes was not as pronounced and, according to MeteoSchweiz, did not attain the values predicted by climate models.
Sources: http://news.search.ch/inland/2009-12-30 (de/fr), www.co2-handel.de/article256_13332.html (de), www.geologi.info/Il-decennio-pi%C3%B9-caldo (it)