Meteorologist Christian Zenkl: Winter temperatures in the Alps region have fallen about 1°C over past 30 years
By Dr. Sebastian Lüning and Prof. Fritz Vahrenholt
(Translated/edited by P Gosselin)
On September 16, 2015; Gernan public broadcaster Bayerischen Rundfunk (Bavarian Broadcasting, or BR) announced:
Farewell to white winters
Light mist, no snow: It’s gotten warmer in Bavaria – and foremost in the winter and especially in the mountains. Already there is measureably less snow. Are our winters going to turn green? What does it all mean for the ski areas?”
But is this true? In the magazine GEO SAISON, 12/2015, Christian Zenkl, an independent meteorologist in Innsbruck, corrected the BR media error:
‘In the Alps region temperatures in the mountains have fallen about 1°C over the past 30 years. Because of the sunnier and warmer summers, the glaciers have lost mass and in total temperatures in the Alps have warmed. However winters have gotten somewhat colder. ‘There hasn’t been less snow,’ says Zenkl. To the contrary, there has been a positive trend starting at 1000 meters. Today from a strictly climatic view, snow-making cannons are not any more needed than they were 30 years ago.”
The expansion to 40,000 snow-making cannons is merely due to pure business reasons, e.g. extending the ski-season and competition between ski resorts. Data from the German DWD national weather service even confirm the winter season temperature cooling trend, even though you’ll never hear it from the DWD:
Chart: German winters have cooled over the past. By Josef Kowatsch.
So what exactly is behind the dubious Bavarian Broadcasting report? It’s a good question for them. You might want to contact them!