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3/15/2007

Climate change will heat Switzerland swiftly

Earth News: Switzerland
March 14, 2007
Climate Change Analysis
Photo:Tourists sit on a ski lift at the Swiss Wengen ski resort, which had a distinct lack of snow in January 2007. Switzerland will suffer regular heatwaves and drought by 2050 as average temperatures rise swiftly and disrupt living patterns in the heart of Europe, a report for Swiss authorities has predicted.

Switzerland will suffer regular heatwaves and drought by 2050 as average temperatures rise swiftly and disrupt living patterns in the heart of Europe, a report predicted Wednesday.
The report commissioned by the interior and environment ministries forecast that average temperatures in the Alpine country would rise by at least 2.0 degrees Celsius (35.6 F) in summer and 3.0 degrees C in winter by 2050.
Measures to cut carbon emissions will have little impact on climate change by then, the report by the Swiss ministerial consultative body on climate change said.
The Swiss global warming estimates are in the middle of the range of new global average temperatures for the end of the century forecast by a panel of UN climate change scientists, but are expected to occur earlier.
Rainfall in Switzerland will drop by about one-fifth during summer by the middle of the century, sharply reducing water availability through to the autumn, the report said.
It predicted that agriculture would be affected by the sharp shift in the climate, prompting crop changes, and power supplies will falter. A large proportion of Switzerland's electricity is supplied by hydroelectric dams in the mountains.
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