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how is global

warmiNg chaNgiNg

the alps?

the average temperature increase in the region seems higher than the global average: nearly +2°C
from 1880 in Austria, compared to +0.85°C at global level (2014 Austrian Assessment Report).

Since 1901, the increase in temperature in the Alpine standing ready
areas of Germany was 1.5°C, compared to a 0.9°C average New approaches are being, and will have to be, developed
for Germany (BMU, 2007). This suggests Europe’s soaring taking into account the changes in the environment
mountains belong to the areas deemed most vulnerable to when elaboratng new plans. Since climate change in the
climate change. Alps is a common issue for all the Alpine countries joint
eforts are needed and the Alpine Conventon provides a
Climate change in the Alps has many faces. Take, e.g., viable platorm to do so. In the scope of this internatonal
the changes in precipitaton: an increase in winter and cooperaton, the Alpine Conventon addresses climate
a decrease in summer is expected (BMU, 2007). The change in two main domains.
associaton with the increase of temperature will likely lead
to more rain (rather than snow) in winter. The snow cover Policy development, implementaton and
line is estmated to rise according to the OECD 2007 by 150 awareness raising
m for each 1°. This includes the Declaraton on climate change and the
Acton Plan on climate change in the Alps, focusing on
Facing the challenges implementaton and awareness raising including guidelines
The changes in precipitaton will increase the frequency of and adaptaton strategies on partcular felds such as water
natural risks; like foods and meltng of glaciers, but also management and natural hazards.
droughts and forest fres. This will likely lead to changes in
the landscape and the ecosystems, especially a shif of the These strategies, in partcular aim at minimising the risks
tree line and species moving upwards to cooler areas. connected to climate change, protectng public health,
quality of life, propertes and preserving nature by taking
Some plant species may fnd new opportunites in areas to advantages of new opportunites.
which they have not been adapted before, for example wine
culture in some northern valleys of the Alps. We have high expectatons as to the outcomes of COP 21
in Paris. But we also aim at doing our homework. In many
We have to expect that these changes will have signifcant respects the Alps have become a laboratory for good
impacts on the economy in the Alps from tourism and practces for key issues in respect of both adaptaton and
agriculture to energy and transport. Many sectors will have
to adapt. Winter tourism which currently is a major income mitgaton, such as renewables, sustainable mobility, energy
efciency and saving, nature protecton and sustainable
generator in the Alpine region is likely to come under forest management.
increasing pressure.
We all need to reinforce our eforts to ensure a safe,
This highlights the need to diversify the touristc ofer prosperous and productve life not only in the Alps, but also
also through enhanced entrepreneurial responsibility. the other mountain ranges of the world and our planet as a
Many sectors will have special signifcance in mitgaton whole.
with measures like shifing trafc towards more climate-
friendly means of transportaton, developing renewable
energy sources and improving energy efciency, especially
in building (see e.g. the Constructve Alps Award for
sustainable housing), as well as more sustainable spatal

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