In a further sign that the Alps are being affected by global warming even more than the rest of the planet, Météo France recently announced that December 2019 and January 2020 were the second warmest in France since records began in 1900.

In particular they picked out Chamonix where the average temperature during the period was 1.2°C – that represents +3.1°C above the long-term average. This makes it the warmest winter on record in the city since 1881.

New record for lack of ‘cold days’

In addition to the positive temperature records, another worrying trend was a new record set for negative temperatures.

Weather forecaster François Jobard revealed that the minimum temperature during November, December and January was only -8.3°C.

Zero days below -10C

The previous ‘low’ record was in winter 1995-96 when for the same period there were only four days below -10°C.

Between 1981 and 2010, there were an average of 19 days where the temperature went below -10°C in the same period. There have been days like this every year apart from 2020.

chamonix temperatures

Mer de Glace melting

Since January 31, rain has returned to the valley with the snow line up to 2500m and temperatures of up to 8°C in Chamonix town.

Images of a very wet-looking Mer de Glace have been shared widely on social media:

Mer de Glace, 03 February 2020

It’s no coincidence that President Macron of France chose to announce new climate change policies in Chamonix this week:

Be the difference…Ski Flight Free

If this news saddens and worries you as much as it does us, don’t forget you can make a difference and reduce your own emissions by making sure you Ski Flight Free if you travel to the Alps this winter.

We have an obligation to reduce our emissions and avoiding flying is the single most effective way individuals can make a difference.