Effects of climate change are already seen even on a tiniest micro basis.
The climate crisis is one of the biggest challenges of our time. The high consumption of fossil fuels like oil and coal are turning the Earth into a massive greenhouse. Already today the effects in many regions of the planet are clearly noticeable.
The reasons for global warming are very well known; and these climate-damaging greenhouse gases have
been rapidly increasing since the beginning of industrialization. Especially the concentration of CO2 has been in the atmosphere since the mid-19th century enormously increased: from 280 ppm (parts per million) over 400 ppm. This rise is almost exclusively man-made. It came so far, we can call it “The climate crisis”.
It has also reached a small but very diverse central European state of Austria.
The average temperature in Austria has risen by two degrees Celsius since the start of the records in 1880. In comparison: Globally the rise of temperature is at about one degree Celsius. Global warming particularly affects Austria's sensitive, alpine climate. The CCCA (Climate Change Center Austria) has analyzed the effects of the climate crisis on each of the individual federal countries in detail. Some of the forecasts and effects to be expected in a business-as-usual scenario (without reducing the Greenhouse gas emissions) as well as in a very moderate Climate protection scenario (reduction of greenhouse gases by half to 2080) are: Falling water tables, rising of the forest line, immigration and displacement of native species with alien species, decline in soil quality do severely threaten our ecosystem. The glacial melt and its effects, cracking of the permafrost, the Austria-wide spruce die-off due to infestations, forest fires and drought are symbols of the climate crisis and already part of our everyday life in Austria. Also particularly affected is agriculture, due to the increase of extreme weather events - such as heavy rain, hail or drought. Heavily affected is also winter tourism, through the decrease in snow reliability and the rising
of the snow line, which by the end of the century is forecasted to rise by 300-600 meters upwards.
The diversity of the domestic landscapes is Austria's highest good and contributes decisively to uniqueness of the country. The ecological diversity is great and from state to state and characterized by unique ecosystems, landscapes and the culture itself.