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HomeUncategorizedSatellite images show the "greening" of the Alps during the last 40...

Satellite images show the “greening” of the Alps during the last 40 years due to global warming


The increase in temperature has also caused the snow that covers the high altitudes to be reduced.

Global warming has implied the transformation of various ecosystems, its effects being even more sensitive in the polar regions of the planet and in mountainous habitats, as is the case in the alpine region. According to an international team of researchers, the vegetation in the upper reaches of the Alps has increased considerably and the area traditionally covered with snow has been reduced.

According to an article recently published in the journal Science, thanks to the analysis of satellite images of high resolution, scientists from the Swiss universities of Basel and Lausanne managed to identify that between 1984 and 2021

the topsoil above the tree line increased by 77% . This “greening” is a widely documented phenomenon in the Arctic region; however, it has been little studied in the mountains.

Among the consequences of the increase in temperature, in the Alps the transformation of rainfall cycles, a phenomenon that has given rise to longer plant growth seasons. Likewise, species adapted to freezing temperatures have been affected, since, by losing their adaptive advantage and being uncompetitive, they are replaced by other plants.

In the same way , the study of the images allowed the experts to conclude that the snow that covers the surface that is above 1,700 meters has decreased by 10%, a phenomenon that, although ” It doesn’t seem like much, it’s worrying”, the academics detail.

As global warming progresses, the number of snow-free areas and plant biomass in the upper Alps is likely to further increase. This trend, explains Sabine Rumpf, co-author of the research, creates a vicious circle. “A greener mountainous world reflects less sunlight. That leads to more global warming and thus more disappearance of reflective snow surfaces,” he said.

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