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Is Austria a climate change hotspot?

Alpine country warming faster than global average

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A map showing the changing climate suitability  for different varieties of grapes suggests how the country’s climate is going to warm in coming decades.

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Austria’s glaciers are dwindling fast. bberwyn photo.

By Summit Voice

FRISCO — Austria is one of Europe’s climate change hotspots, scientists said last week as they released a comprehensive climate assessment showing that temperatures in the alpine country are climbing much faster than the global average.

“Already by now, Austria has warmed by 2 degrees Celsius in contrast to the rest of the world, with 0.85 degrees Celsius,” said project leader Nebojsa Nakicenovic, deputy director of the Vienna-based International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis.

Not surprisingly, the warming has also lead to a big jump in the average temperatures of Austria’s lakes and rivers, which since the 1980s, warmed by 1.5 degrees in summer and 0.7 degrees Celsius in winter, according to the assessment. Continue reading

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Morning photo: Warmup!

Summer scenes

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A blazing sunset of the coast of Negril, Jamaica.

FRISCO — After posting several sets featuring the incredibly beautiful snows we’ve been experiencing here in Colorado, I decided it was time for a warmup, so I searched the Summit Voice photo archives for some summer scenes. It’s just a reminder that winter won’t last forever, so enjoy it while it’s here! Continue reading

Morning photo: Alleys

Come for a stroll …

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An inviting alleyway in the old town of Corfu, designated as a world heritage district.

FRISCO — While yesterday’s photo essay offered a bird’s eye view of city rooftops, today’s edition is at ground level, taking a look at some alleys around the world. By definition, an alley, or alleyway, is a narrow lane, path, or passage way, often for pedestrians only, which usually runs between or behind buildings, often in the older parts of towns and cities. For a traveler or explorer, that’s a pretty prosaic point of view. We prefer to see alleys as a pathway to adventures in unknown destinations. After all, what could be more inviting than a narrow, winding cobblestone path, beckoning to the unknown. Continue reading

Climate: July global temps 6th-warmest on record

Year-to-date readings also rank as 6th-warmest

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A NASA global temperature map for July shows the widespread pattern of above-average land and sea surface temperatures.

By Summit Voice

FRISCO — The global temperature for July 2013 was 1.10 degrees (all temperatures in Fahrenheit) above the 20th century average, making it the sixth-warmest July on record, according to the National Climatic Data Center.

Nearly every part of Earth reported temperatures well above average with the exception of a few pockets, notably the southeastern and central U.S. and parts of India.

The year to date (January-July) is also ranked as the sixth-warmest on record, with the global land surface temperatures running 1.73 degrees above the 20th century average. Continue reading

Morning photo: Take a hike!

Foot power!

Hiking in the Eagles Nest Wilderness, Summit County, Colorado.

Hiking in the Eagles Nest Wilderness, Summit County, Colorado.

FRISCO — It’s summer time, so what are you waiting for? Turn off your computer, get outside and take a hike, wherever you are! Here are some of our favorite hiking trails both far and near, compiled for the #FriFotos Twitter chat.

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Two hikers etched against a brilliant high latitude sky on Deception Island.

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Global warming: Austria’s famed lakes heating up quickly

Key lakes expected to warm by up to degrees 3 degrees Celsius by mid-century

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Global warming is projected to fundamentally alter the waters of famed Austrian lakes like the Mondsee, near Salzburg. Bob Berwyn photo.

By Bob Berwyn

FRISCO — Austria’s famed alpine lakes are facing fundamental change as global temperatures continue warm — and recent warming in the Alpine region (between 1980 and 1999) has increased three times as fast as the global average.

Projected increases in water temperatures will likely alter basic structure, function and water quality in famed lakes like the Mondsee, near Salzburg, according to Dr. Martin Dokulil, a retired researcher from the Institute for Limnology at the University of Innsbruck in Austria.

Dokulil analyzed long-term data records for air temperature and surface water temperatures dating back to the mid-1960s from the Austrian Hydrological Yearbooks. He projected temperature trends for nine large lakes, finding that  lake surface temperatures are likely to rise by up to 3 degrees Celsius by 2050 as a direct result of climate change. Continue reading

Morning photo: Architecture

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All of Old Town Corfu nas been designated as a world heritage site in large part for its architecture.

All of Old Town Corfu nas been designated as a world heritage site in large part for its architecture.

FRISCO — Another fun theme for my favorite Twitter chat this week, as travelers and photographers from around the world are sharing images focusing on architecture. Starting off my #FriFotos post with a couple of pictures of arches seems appropriate, since arches have been, well, a keystone of architecture ever since people started laying one stone atop another. Join in the fun by uploading some pics with the #FriFotos hashtag — it should be a good one!

An arched opening in a thick stone wall in Hallstatt, Austria provides cover from a summer thunderstorm.

An arched opening in a thick stone wall in Hallstatt, Austria provides cover from a summer thunderstorm.

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