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Climate change and the Alps

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Globally the 1990s were the warmest decade since reliable instrument recordings began in 1860; they were very possibly also the warmest in the past one thousand years. For the Alpine countries, these latest findings are of particular significance for the hydrosphere, i.e. the hydrological cycle, and the cryosphere, i.e. snow and ice. Future winters will be characterised by less snow and more rain. Even a 1 °C increase in temperature means the average duration of the snow cover in certain regions will be reduced by 4 to 6 weeks. Hope for the future in the climate dilemma rests with municipal energy policies, the greater use of renewable energies, and the promotion of a sustainable economic approach and lifestyle. Additional relevant material on the issue can be found in other language versions of this page.