Is this the beginning of the end for some European ski resorts? – The Independent

by | Jan 9, 2023 | Climate Change

Sign up to the Independent Climate email for the latest advice on saving the planetGet our free Climate emailAs Europe rang in the year 2023, a blanket of heat silently draped itself over much of the continent.At least eight countries experienced their highest-ever January temperatures on New Year’s Day. Polish capital Warsaw saw 18.9 degrees Celsius (66 degrees Fahrenheit) — breaking the previous record by more than 5C. In the town of Delemont, Switzerland, the daily average hit 18.1C (nearly 65F) on 1st January — more than 2C above the previous record.Spring-like temperatures and rain smudged out snowy playgrounds across the Alps from Innsbruck, Austria to Chamonix in France and left behind grassy hillsides dotted with rocks. Dozens of ski runs closed after snow melted, and some resorts were shuttered entirely in France, Austria, Switzerland, Italy and Bosnia just weeks after a promising start to the season. At the Ski World Cup in Zagreb, Croatia, a race was canceled on Thursday due to high temperatures and strong winds.French ski slopes bare little snow amid warm winter conditions and sparse snowfall“The basic message is pretty simple – humans are warming the planet by burning fossil fuels and we’re seeing these increasingly strong heatwaves in summer but also very warm periods in winter,” Dr Reto Knutti, a climate scientist at research university ETH Zurich, told The Independent.Last year was the hottest on record in both Switzerland and France and globally, the past eight years are tracking to be the warmest ever. The UK’s annual average temperature was more than 10C for the first time last year, the Met Office confirmed this week, announcing 2022 as the country’s hotte …

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