It is expected that in Switzerland, as elsewhere, the climatic conditions will markedly change over the coming decades. This will have implications for agriculture.
According to the newest climate scenarios for Switzerland, it is expected that temperature will increase by 1 to 3.5°C by 2060. The scenarios further indicate a significant decrease in summer precipitation amounts for the second half of the century. These changes are likely to be accompanied by a more frequent occurrence of heat waves, droughts and intense precipitation events. Finally, due to concurrently increasing emissions of airborne nitrogen-compounds, an increase in the deposition of inorganic nitrogen (N) is anticipated in the Alpine region.
For agriculture to continue fulfilling its various tasks, continuous adaptation to changing climatic conditions will be required over the coming decades. Targeted information is needed to support the adaptation process, including the evaluation of the climatic suitability for food production, the development of indicators for the assessment of climatic hazards and water shortage, and the evaluation of the sensitivity to increasing N deposition of species-rich agroecosystems (Critical Loads).