Temperature

Global climate change means that temperatures are also rising in Switzerland. If greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise unchecked, a further increase in the annual average temperature of around 2–3°C is possible by the middle of this century. However, with a rapid and comprehensive reduction in global greenhouse gas emissions, the warming could be limited to less than 2°C compared to current temperatures.

The further changes to the climate depend on the global emissions of greenhouse gases. The values listed below show how temperatures are projected to change with climate change mitigation (emission scenario RCP2.6) and without mitigation (RCP8.5) in the near future (2035), by the middle of the century (2060), and towards the end of the century (2085).

What do RCP2.6 and RCP8.5 mean? You can find an explanation of the emission scenarios here.

What does "the middle of the century" mean? You can find an explanation of the CH2018 time periods here.

Trend in the annual average temperature

If greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise unchecked (RCP8.5), temperatures could rise by up to an additional 3.3°C by the middle of this century. However, if successful efforts are made to quickly reduce greenhouse gas emissions worldwide (RCP2.6), the temperature would still rise further by the middle of this century, but the increase would likely be limited to around 0.7–1.9°C. The differences between the emission scenarios increases towards the end of the century.

 

Temperature change across Switzerland (°C)

RCP2.6

RCP8.5

Possible in the near future

+0.6 to +1.6

+0.9 to +1.9

Possible from the middle of the century

+0.7 to +1.9

+2.0 to +3.3

Possible towards the end of the century

+0.6 to +1.9

+3.3 to +5.4

Possible range of changes around 2035, 2060, and 2085 in comparison to 1981–2010 with climate change mitigation (RCP2.6) and without (RCP8.5, simulation range). Typical 30-year averages across Switzerland.

Seasonal temperature change

Warming in summer is somewhat more pronounced than in winter. If greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise unchecked (RCP8.5), temperatures could rise by 1.8–3.3°C by the middle of this century. In summer, it will be as much as 2.3–4.4C warmer. With effective climate change mitigation worldwide (RCP2.6), the warming in Switzerland by the middle of this century could probably be limited to 0.6–1.9°C in winter and to 0.9–2.5°C in summer compared to current temperatures.

 

Temperature change in winter (°C)

Temperature change in summer (°C)

RCP2.6

RCP8.5

RCP2.6

RCP8.5

Possible in the near future

+0.5 to +1.7

+0.6 to +2.1

+0.7 to +2.1

+1.2 to +2.3

Possible from the middle of the century

+0.6 to +1.9

+1.8 to +3.3

+0.9 to +2.5

+2.3 to +4.4

Possible towards the end of the century

+0.6 to +2.0

+3.1 to +5.4

+0.7 to +2.4

+4.1 to +7.2

Possible range of changes around 2035, 2060, and 2085 in comparison to 1981–2010 with climate change mitigation (RCP2.6) and without (RCP8.5, simulation range). Typical 30-year averages across Switzerland.

Spatial pattern of temperature change

Temperatures are rising in all regions of Switzerland. In winter, the pattern of warming is very similar across all regions. However, in summer, warming is more pronounced in the Alpine regions than in the rest of Switzerland. More details on regional variations in climate change in Switzerland can be found here.

The graph below shows the seasonal average temperatures for winter and summer and the expected change in these temperatures for the period around 2060. Click on RCP2.6 or RCP8.5 to switch between the different Scenarios.

Do you need more information in order to understand the CH2018 Climate Change Scenarios? You can find this here.

Last modification 15.11.2018

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