Marty, C. and Blanchet, J. 2012. Long-term changes in annual maximum snow depth and snowfall in Switzerland based on extreme value statistics. Climatic Change 111: 705-721.
The authors write that "heavy snowfall and extreme snow depth cause serious loss of human life and property in many middle and high latitude countries almost every winter," noting that "heavy snowfalls are often accompanied by extreme snow storms and avalanches which cause hazardous conditions on roads, railways and airports." In addition, they say that "heavy snowfall events can be a high economic burden for society due to snow load damages to buildings, increased snow removal costs or spring flooding." And with climate alarmists contending that recent CO2-induced global warming (which they claim to have been unprecedented over the past one to two millennia) will lead to increases in the frequency and ferocity of essentially all types of weather phenomena, one can understand the authors' desire to determine if snowfalls and snow depths are becoming more of a problem for the people of Switzerland, where they themselves reside.
What was done
Marty and Blanchet say they used annual maximum snow depth and snowfall data from 25 stations located at altitudes between 200 and 2500 meters above sea level (m asl) that were collected during the last 80 winters (1930/31 to 2009/2010), in order to "highlight temporal trends of annual maximum snow depth and 3-day snowfall sum."
What was learned
In the words of the two researchers, "none of the stations, not even the highest one at 2,500 m asl, has experienced significant increasing extreme amounts during the last 80 years." In fact, they report that "all the stations, even the highest one, show a decrease in extreme snow depth," and they indicate that "a negative trend is also observed for extreme snowfalls at low and high altitudes," adding that "the decreasing trend of extreme snow depth and snowfall at low altitudes seems to be mainly caused by a reduction in the magnitude of the extremes."
What it means
Once again, we have another type of extreme weather phenomenon, in another place on earth, where climate-alarmist predictions have been demonstrated to be totally at odds with reality.