Of all the seasons, winter warms up the fastest, says climate researcher Mark Olives — with sometimes dire consequences.
Drought, heat and intense rain: the effects of climate change are evident in summer. How much have the cold seasons changed?
Mark Olives: We always compare the temperature over the past 30 years with pre-industrial times. Autumn is the lowest time of the year when temperatures in Austria warm by an average of 1.4 degrees. If we look at it over the course of the entire year, it is already two degrees warmer in Austria than in pre-industrial times. In winter we see a difference between lower and higher elevations. In the deep populated area, we have 2.3 degrees, which is the strongest warming since pre-industrial times. At higher elevations, winter warming is much less at about 1.7 degrees.
what is the reason?
It is not yet clear why this deviation occurred this season. A possible explanation is the effect of aerosols, which we also have in the air independently of greenhouse gases. In the long term, climate models predict that warming will be somewhat more pronounced at higher altitudes than at lower altitudes. In any case, in the northern hemisphere solar radiation is less in winter, which is why large-scale weather conditions have a relatively stronger influence on the weather than in other seasons, where radiation plays a larger role.
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