How Climate Change is Impacting the Alps

The Mer de Glace is a valley glacier on the northern slopes of the Mont Blanc massif, French Alps

The Alps are an iconic symbol of Europe. One of the continent’s prime tourist destinations, the range provides much more than holiday destinations. 40% of Europe’s fresh water originates there, supplying tens of millions of Europeans in lowland areas.

There are visible signs of change: glaciers, snow and permafrost are melting and vegetation and animals are modifying their behaviour. The landscapes we see in the past, don’t necessarily look like they do today and they’ll look different in the future.

For every 1ºC increase in temperature, the snowline rises by about 150 metres. As a result, less snow will accumulate at low elevations. Plant species are also on the move northward and uphill. Plants that have adapted to the cold are now being driven out of their natural ranges. European plant species might have shifted hundreds of kilometres northwards by the late-21st century and 60 % of mountain plant species may face extinction. 
The warming planet is changing the Alps forever – almost with every season change! However, Gin Lovers can help turn the tide!

Altitude Alpine Dry Gin hails from Chamonix-Mont-Blanc and is infused with delicious mountain botanicals found on the foothills of the Alps. With a vision to conserve the environment felt so passionately about, the business contributes to CREA Mont-Blanc, a non-profit research centre based in Chamonix. CREA has two missions: to carry out scientific research into the impact of climate change on Alpine plants and animals and also to communicate these findings with the public and decision makers.

In order to love an area like the Alps, it’s important that we understand it. Whether it’s in the mountains or at home, take time to consider the environment, to observe what’s happening within it and reflect on how best to protect it.

Photo: Leo Authamayou

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