June 1, 2023

Global warming: the Alps are turning green and that does not bode well

SEEN FROM ELSEWHERE – The greening of the mountains observed by Swiss researchers via satellite images is a serious problem.

What if, in the future, there was no longer any need for the gray pencil to draw the mountains? We would be satisfied with green and, in rare cases, we would leave a little white at the top, for the rare traces of eternal snow that still remain. This is how we could popularize the article just published by researchers from the universities of Basel and Lausanne in the journal “Science”.

To reach this conclusion, they had to analyze nearly forty years of aerial images of the Alps, taken between 1984 and 2021 by satellites of four different generations, in order to quantify the advance of vegetation.

“The greening of the Alps was a known phenomenon but it was not possible to measure the depth of this trend which turns out to be massive. We were able to aggregate a quantity of data and reach an unprecedented level of detail showing, pixel by pixel, the temporal evolution of certain regions of the Alps”explains Grégoire Mariéthoz, director of the institute…

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