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Swiss rivers reached hottest temperatures ever during heatwave

Swiss rivers reached hottest temperatures ever during heatwave

Several temperature measuring stations found that Switzerland’s rivers reached their hottest temperatures ever recorded during July’s heatwave. 11 river monitoring stations recorded the highest temperatures since measurements began and a further 22 measured record temperatures for the month of July.

The Aare river in Switzerland has never been hotter

Many of the stations that recorded the highest temperatures were located along Switzerland’s Aare river. At a measuring station in Thun, the river reached temperatures of 23,4 degrees Celsius, and at Bern it was hotter still at 23,9 degrees.  

Several other rivers also reached record high temperatures, including the Ticino, Reuss, Emme, Allenbach and Suze rivers. The Dischmabach, Poschiavino, Linth and Inn rivers also broke records. Their temperatures all ranged between 15 and 23 degrees Celsius - warm for the Swiss summer.

Concerns growing over impact of climate change in Switzerland

The weather, while positive for many, is concerning for climate scientists, who believe that Switzerland could be at risk of droughts, flash flooding and other ecological damage due to the changing climate. This summer has seen some of the hottest temperatures ever recorded across Europe, and Switzerland is no exception. 

The Federal Office for the Environment said that there is a clear trend towards increased temperatures in Swiss waters, which could harm biodiversity in Switzerland’s lakes and rivers. The office said it expects temperatures in rivers to rise even more in the coming years, as climate change tightens its grip on Europe. 

This summer’s unusually hot and dry weather has already led to many Swiss cantons banning fireworks and bonfires on Swiss national day and the government is calling on people to waste less water to prevent a drought. Other municipalities have been forced to take extraordinary steps such as refilling lakes, to prevent further habitat loss due to low water levels.

Emily Proctor

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Emily Proctor

Emily studied International Relations and Chinese, and is now undertaking Master's degree in International Security. She enjoys writing, cooking, and playing piano.

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