Climate basics

Global climate change affects Switzerland to a greater than average extent. An understanding of the basics is important in order to be able to address the impacts of climate change with appropriate measures.

To describe the climate and the way in which it is changing in a particular region, parameters such as temperature and precipitation are analysed over 30-year periods. These measurements are used to calculate the long-term average values on the one hand, and to determine the ranges of fluctuation and extreme values on the other.

Since industrialisation, the average global temperature has risen. Even in Switzerland, the climate has warmed by about 2°C since measurements began in 1864. The number of hot days has increased significantly. Climate models, which simulate the processes in the climate system and thus allow conclusions to be drawn about the causes of past climate change and future scenarios, show that climate change will continue into the future. Its severity depends on the emission scenarios for greenhouse gases and aerosols.

Climate change can be contained through global efforts to reduce emissions. However, its consequences are already in evidence today within natural systems as well as in industry and society. That is why it is also imperative that a country such as Switzerland adapts to climate change and takes steps to tackle these impacts appropriately and in sufficient measure.

Background knowledge

Find out about the basics of climate change here.

An overview of the terminology

You will find a glossary containing numerous important terms relating to this topic area here.

Last modification 23.11.2018

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Office of the National Centre for Climate Services NCCS
Federal Office of meteorology and climatology MeteoSwiss
Operation Center 1
P.O. Box 257
CH-8058 Zurich-Airport

Director
Angela Michiko Hama 

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Print contact

https://www.nccs.admin.ch/content/nccs/en/home/climate-change-and-impacts/climate-basics.html