Like a boiling frog. the ironic beauty of the changing Alps in a warming world

A trip through Germany in winter provided startling evidence that the world is warming up rapidly. The deep snow slopes where skiers used to revel were often dry and empty. It was still beautiful, though.
The BBC reports that England could record its highest temperatures yet this week. The world is getting hot. Storms are increasingly violent, land masses are disappearing. “New research,” wrote University of California Davis climate scientist Francis Moore in the online ScienceAlert in 2019, “demonstrates a terrifying adaptability of 21st-century human beings: in the face of unprecedented climate change, we are normalising the weather temperatures, and not realising how truly bad things have become.”
The well-known analogy for this phenomenon is the boiling frog – the notion that a frog immersed in gradually heating water will fail to notice the creeping change in its circumstances, even as it’s being boiled alive.
Melting icebergs and glaciers apart, there are few more obvious ways to see and feel the effects of climate change than in a central European winter. A reported mid-winter temperature of 15°C in Germany’s Black Forest on 1 January 2022 spoke volumes. Between the Schwarzwald and the Bavarian Alps, and a little peek into Switzerland, the relative extremes are plainly visible. And ironically, sometimes stunningly beautiful. DM168
This story first appeared in our weekly Daily Maverick 168 newspaper, which is available countrywide for R25.