Well are the Alps melting as Imogen Foulkes is proposing in her article? Well with the help of the trusty temperature statistics that lie* behind the CRUTEM4 global land temperature series that I’ve downloaded from the Met Office, I thought that I would investigate. Here are a couple of graphs from near the top of the Säntis mountain in northeast Switzerland at a height of 2,490 M (8,169 feet), where the mean annual temperature is -1.9°C, and there may well be some permafrost if you can find any soil to freeze.
As you can see from the trend of the annual mean temperature things have been on the warm up there since 1864 to the tune of 2°C in 153 years (fig 3). Things get even warmer if you look at the month of August which have warmed by 2.6°C in the same time, the linear trend since 1965 is currently as high as +0.66°C per decade (fig 4), so it’s no wonder that there have been increased occurrences of rock and landslides in recent years.
It would have liked to include the temperature series from the Sphinx Observatory on the Jungfraujoch (WMO #06730) in Switzerland at 3,571 m (11,716 ft), which must have a fine record of temperature data that probably started in 1931, but as far as I can see, and for some reason I can’t fathom, it’s not included in the list of CRUTEM4 sites. It’s certainly not because it’s too high, because there are climate records from mountains as high as 4,700 M in China. Perhaps the price that they charge for the data is just too high for even the Met Office to afford.
* That was a purely unintentional pun on my part, and a completely unforgivable play on words on my part!