TreeNet in RSI ‘Il giardino di Albert’

Reportage in Swiss Italian TV RSI with input from TreeNet
Siccità sotto la lente 2022, l’anno più caldo e asciutto mai registrato dal 1864 in Ticino

Drought in focus: 2022, the warmest and driest year in Ticino since 1864

The year 2022 was the warmest and driest year ever recorded south of the Alps. In Stabio, it rained half as much as would be expected in a normal year. Soil, vegetation and rivers experienced major water deficits, in several areas of Switzerland.

Woods in the Mendrisiotto region got dressed for autumn prematurely, and half of the Penz forest in Chiasso failed to survive such a hot summer. The resilience that some trees, which survived but weakened, showed may not be enough in the face of another dry summer. The Ticino River experienced a halved runoff. Switzerland’s forests in the past 10 years have never experienced so little growth as in 2022. Soil, when it dries out, strongly retains the little moisture it contains.

Climate change promises wetter but warmer winters and drier summers. The survival of vegetation hinges on a portion of soil only a few millimeters. Incredibly small, extremely important.