posted at 02:50
Author Name: Sim Sim Wissgott
Dismantling ski lifts and moving villages: Alps adapt to climate change
A recent Austrian climate change report found that the country's temperatures had risen twice as fast as the global average since 1880, with the number of sunshine hours in the Alps increasing by 20 percent. "Preventing this is what we're trying to do when we talk about a strategy for the Alps," he said ahead of UN climate talks in Lima on December 1-12 meant to pave the way towards a global climate pact next year. Rebernig's office is part of the C3-Alps project, which groups ministries and research institutes from alpine countries - mainly Italy, Switzerland, Germany, Austria and France - to discuss ways to tackle climate change. "The effects of climate change can be seen and felt... we have to look ahead, take action," said Karine Siegwart, vice director of the Swiss federal office for the environment, also part of C3-Alps. Alpine countries are already shifting their focus to adaptation solutions, acknowledging that climate change will not be stopped or turned around anytime soon. "We have to take climate change very seriously. But we also need local support and to sensitize communities and the population, because the effects of climate change will be felt at a local level," said Siegwart. Glaciers, the most common symbol of climate change in the mountains, have shrunk by 15 percent in Austria over the last 15-20 years, according to Andrea Fischer, a glacier expert at the Interdisciplinary Mountain Research Institute in Innsbruck. Alpine countries are still drafting strategies to deal with climate change but they can already be a model for others, Rebernig said.

Posts Archive