As a result of climate change, Switzerland's Central Plateau is looking increasingly like the Italian region of Tuscany, the Swiss Landscape Protection Foundation, FP, warns, highlighting the consequences of this ‘Tuscanization’ for the tourism.
Increasingly long periods of heat and drought over the past two decades are changing the landscape considerably. Water loss is a major factor in many places. As a result, greenery and coolness are less and less dominant, giving way to bright yellow and brown hues reminiscent of the dry landscapes of the Tuscan valleys, the foundation writes.
In the Swiss Alps, especially at high altitudes, the effects of climate change are also evident, but in a different way. There, an increasing “mineralisation” can be observed, FP said in a press release, referring to the process by which organic compounds are converted into inorganic ones.
Glaciers are retreating, a phenomenon that is accompanied by drought. Due to a lack of water, exposed moraines become green more slowly, while mountain streams and waterfalls from non-glacial watersheds turn into rivulets. This is also a situation well known in Italy - in the Alps of Piedmont and Liguria - says the foundation.
According to FP, water loss and increasing warming have an impact on biodiversity and reduce the variety of landscapes. This in turn lowers the recreational value and thus the tourism capital of the landscape.
The foundation said it regretted that “the romantic ideal of a ‘green’ and water-rich Switzerland – model for many ‘Swiss’ in other countries – seems to be changing permanently”.