Europe is recording one of its warmest winters on record. In France, several ski resorts have had to resort to alternative ways of entertainment give the lack of snow and continuous rain. According to Le Monde, a ski resort in Haute-Savoie had to come up with a back up plan for children and deployed inflatable games and face painting workshops. The Portes du Mont-Blanc ski area is still closed.
I’ve never seen so many people jogging. I’ve lived here for 20 years, and this is the first time I’ve seen so little snow at Christmas.Patrice Blanc, director of the tourism office in Praz-sur-Arly (Haute-Savoie)
According to data from the ski lifts union, Domaines skiables de France, only half of the slopes have opened during holiday season. Ski stations in the Jura region have not been able to open at all. The low and medium mountain resorts that have suffered the most, Le Monde reports. Besides France, there are other locations that rely heavily on tourism this time of year. Italy, Austria and Switzerland are facing a very bleak winter season at the ski stations.
In early 2023, countries such as the Netherlands, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Denmark, Belarus and the Czech Republic have also have been affected by record-high temperatures, as reported by Euronews. Belgium recorded its warmest New Year’s Eve since measurements began in 1833. According to the Brussels Times, temperatures reached 16.2 degrees Celsius on Saturday morning. The previous record was 14 degrees, registered in 2021.
On January 1st, Switzerland recorded its highest-ever January temperature north of the Alps. The mercury hit 20.9 degrees Celsius (69.6 degrees Fahrenheit) in the town of Delemont in canton Jura in northwest Switzerland.
According to Swiss Info, the previous January high north of the Alps had been 19.4 C, recorded in Lucerne on January 12th,. The highest January temperature ever recorded anywhere in Switzerland was 24 C recorded in Locarno-Monti (2007) and Lugano (1944) in the south of the country.
MeteoSwiss stated that the record January temperature in Delemont was caused by warm winds from the southwest combined with the Foehn wind – a dry, warm down slope wind – coming off the Jura mountains.
Other locations also saw very warm weather January 1st. In Vevey on Lake Geneva, people queued for ice creams, while swimmers enjoyed the traditional New Year’s Day dip in Lake Geneva. The Adelboden Alpine Ski World Cup, which took place on Saturday 7th and Sunday 8th of January, had to resort to the use of artificial snow.
In late November, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) released data showing that the last 8 years have been the warmest on record. Continued emissions of greenhouse gases (GHG) have amplified the effects of global warming. GHG emissions have reached record levels in the atmosphere. Emissions of methane, a gas 25 times more potent than CO2 on a global warming potential (GWP) basis, have exceeded all historical thresholds.
Sea levels are also at a “record high” in 2022, rising 10 mm since January 2020, or 10% of the rise recorded since satellite measurements began nearly 30 years ago. And the rate has doubled since 1993. The planet has also been hit by a spate of extreme events this year, from historic floods in Pakistan to repeated heat waves in Europe and drought in the Horn of Africa. The melting of glaciers is getting worse with the Alps losing 4 meters of height only in 2022.