In Switzerland, the temperature was already 2.5°C warmer in the last decade (2013–2022) than the pre-industrial mean for 1871–1900. It is expected to rise further by a similar magnitude by 2060, unless greenhouse gas emissions are drastically reduced. What these average temperature rises in Switzerland mean in practical terms for humans, animals and plants can be made understandable with the help of so-called climate indices.
Climate indices are parameters derived from measurements such as temperature, precipitation and sunshine duration. Each one focusses on a specific aspect of climate such as heatwaves, frost, drought or heavy rainfall. Climate indices thus portray the climate in a very clear and comprehensible way. Furthermore, historic and future developments of the climate can be analysed in an easily understandable way. This makes it possible to answer very practical questions, such as whether there are more hot days now than there were 50 years ago, whether winters these days are actually not as cold as they used to be, or on how many days in the year will fresh snow fall in 2060.
MeteoSwiss compiles numerous climate indices for the main weather stations in the Swiss National Basic Climatological Network.