Comment | Published:

Future winters glimpsed in the Alps

Nature Geosciencevolume 11pages458460 (2018) | Download Citation

January 2018 was an unusually warm and wet month across the Western Alps, with widespread landslides at low elevations and massive snowfall higher up. This extreme month yields lessons for how mountain communities can prepare for a warmer future.

Access optionsAccess options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.


  1. 1.

    Gobiet, A. et al. Sci. Total Environ. 493, 1138–1151 (2014).

  2. 2.

    Haylock, M. R. et al. J. Geophys. Res. Atmos. 113, D20119 (2008).

  3. 3.

    Bründl, M., Ammann, W., Wiesinger, T., Föhn, P. & Bebi, P. Der Lawinenwinter 1999: Ereignisanalyse (SLF, 2000).

  4. 4.

    Stoffel, M. & Huggel, C. Prog. Phys. Geogr. 36, 421–439 (2012).

  5. 5.

    Zubler, E. M. et al. Clim. Change 125, 237–252 (2014).

  6. 6.

    Beniston, M. et al. Cryosph. 12, 759–794 (2018).

  7. 7.

    Eckert, N., Baya, H. & Deschatres, M. J. Clim. 23, 3157–3180 (2010).

  8. 8.

    Beniston, M. & Stoffel, M. Sci. Total Environ. 571, 228–236 (2016).

  9. 9.

    Ballesteros-Cánovas, J. A., Trappmann, D., Madrigal-González, J., Eckert, N. & Stoffel, M. Proc. Natl Acad. Sci. USA 115, 3410–3415 (2018).

  10. 10.

    Castebrunet, H., Eckert, N., Giraud, G., Durand, Y. & Morin, S. Cryosph. 8, 1673–1699 (2014).

Download references


This Comment greatly benefitted from meteorological records and monthly bulletins made available online by MeteoSwiss, ZAMG (Austria) and Météo France. Gridded daily change signals for temperature and precipitation in Switzerland (CH2011-PLUS) data for the period 2070–2099 were obtained from the Center for Climate Systems Modelling (C2SM) at ETH Zurich. The authors also acknowledge the E-OBS dataset from the EU-FP6 project ENSEMBLES ( and the data providers in the ECA&D project (

Author information


  1. Climate Change Impacts and Risks in the Anthropocene (C-CIA), Institute for Environmental Sciences, University of Geneva, Geneva, Switzerland

    • Markus Stoffel
  2. Department of Earth Sciences, University of Geneva, Geneva, Switzerland

    • Markus Stoffel
  3. Department F.A. Forel for Aquatic and Environmental Sciences, University of Geneva, Geneva, Switzerland

    • Markus Stoffel
  4. Université Clermont Auvergne, Geolab, UMR, 6042 CNRS, Clermont-Ferrand, France

    • Christophe Corona


  1. Search for Markus Stoffel in:

  2. Search for Christophe Corona in:

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Markus Stoffel.

About this article

Publication history


Issue Date


Newsletter Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing