1 Due to the drought, swimming is prohibited at Lac de Castillon
At the start of summer, the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence, very popular with European tourists, have the impression of “touching the finger” on global warming. At the edge of the Castillon Lake beach, enclosed between the Alpine mountains at an altitude of 900 meters, there is not even 40 cm of depth left. Far too little: with a heavy heart, the mayor is about to ban swimming. The water park will also not open. A disaster for the village of some 980 inhabitants, which lives off tourism in the Gorges du Verdon.
Electric boats and other pedal boats will still be able to circulate, but the water level is starting to become a problem. “We are not even going to make a quarter of our turnover, is in despair Inès Flores, manager of the Bike Beach nautical base. Tourists are already pissed off; when there are a lot of people, what will we be able to offer them? »
“In a few decades, we have gone from one drought every five years, to three droughts every five years”, explains Claude Roustan, president of the fishing federation of this department in south-eastern France. And this is only the beginning: with global warming, the intensity and frequency of drought episodes are likely to increase further, even if the world manages to limit the rise in temperatures.
2 Lack of water, rafting prohibited in the Gorges du Verdon
In the Gorges du Verdon, the winter with little rain and snow has created a “historic” hydrological situation. Result: EDF will not be able to release water in the gorges, forcing whitewater activities, such as rafting, to remain prohibited all summer (except for aquatic hiking and canyoning).
This will force the expected million tourists to find other means of entertainment. Like the ancillary activities (mountain biking, hiking), even if the recent fire of 1,800 hectares in a nearby military camp reminded us that drought also weakens vegetation. “Inhabitants and tourists alike must be aware of this exceptional situation”, insists the prefect of the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence, Violaine Démaret.
In the Gorges, the famous Sainte-Croix lake is already at an end-of-summer level. Further north, on Lake Serre-Ponçon, the largest artificial lake in France, boating activities (9 beaches, 15 nautical bases, 12 ports) are also threatened. Worried, the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region promises to help adapt structures to these “new issues of disruption”.
3 In the absence of snow, the summer glacier in Tignes closes a month in advance
In Savoie, the Grande Motte glacier in Tignes closed on Friday July 1 after only two weeks of opening. It was supposed to welcome skiers until July 31, but the limited snow cover this winter and the good weather caused the snow to melt faster than expected. This calls into question the economic model of the station, which until now boasted of being accessible during the months of June and July.
“It’s really atypical, we see that the climate transition is well and truly in place, we have to adapt
“, has indicated Frédéric Bonnevie, director of the Tignes piste management, on France Bleu. ” Lhe melting is accentuated, we have seen it throughout this winter, we have had half as much snow as usual; the parts of ice are apparent today, generally these are conditions that we find three or four weeks later in the season; we are about a month ahead in terms of melting, and in terms of nature in general, the floral species that appeared at the end of July, we saw them from the end of June. »
The Pisaillas glacier, in Val d’Isère, cannot also accommodate tourists due to the lack of snow.
4 Due to lack of water, the tap of the beach showers cut off in Perros-Guirec
Rinsing after a bath is now impossible on some beaches. Given the risk of drought and lack of water, several municipalities have decided to abandon their beach showers. And too bad for the comfort of holidaymakers: the environment comes first.
In Brittany, this is already the case on the beaches of the town of Perros-Guirec: the water has been cut off. In Larmor-Plage, this possibility is being considered. “If the situation worsens, it is possible that we will not install the showers”, explains one to the town hall. Others are turning to alternatives: in Plouhinec, the showers have been transformed into foot rinses. “It is important to monitor water consumption, while allowing holidaymakers to clean themselves as much as possible”, argues the City.
Similar decisions are being deployed in the south of France, such as in La Grande Motte or Palavas-les-Flots. Because in addition to wasting water, the shampoos and sun creams evacuated by the showers could also pollute the water tables and harm the quality of the water, when the system was badly connected.
5 The Nantes-Brest canal disrupted by drought
The Nantes-Brest canal is also lacking in water due to the drought currently affecting Loire-Atlantique. So, to save this precious resource, the lock keepers ask boaters to group together, “in order to pass them at the same time”, explains Paul Bidet, manager of the Nort-sur-Erdre sector of the canal, on France Bleu. Because if two boats pass at the same time, the water consumption is halved. Admittedly, it is more restrictive for holidaymakers – the waiting time can exceed 30 minutes – but it is the only solution found for the moment to continue to preserve navigation on the canal, not spared by climate change.
6 Holidays upset by hail damage
According to scientists, global warming will accelerate the intensity and frequency of hailstorms. What to touch the holiday homes? This is Lucile’s bitter experience. This native of Nantes had rented a house in Vanxains, in the Dordogne. The perfect accommodation: it could accommodate 10 to 12 adults, “with facilities for babies, within a reasonable budget, including swimming pool and large garden”. But the violent hailstorms that fell on the region in mid-June devastated the building. “The roof and the windows were affected. As the craftsmen are unavailable for several months, given the number of damages in the region, the owner can no longer accommodate us. These holidays are turned upside down. “We managed to find a substitute house, not quite next door, closer to the sea, but which also cost more. »
7 The heat wave makes the climb of Mont-Blanc dangerous
Global warming is not only causing the disappearance of the Mer de Glace, a tourist hotspot. It also leads to landslides in the mountains, due to the degradation of permafrost, these frozen soils which warm up under the effect of high temperatures.
“There is an increase in the frequency of these events; we can see it very well during the scorching summers like in 2003, 2015, 2017”, explained in 2018 Ludovic Ravanel, researcher at the CNRS, on France Inter. Because of these cubic meters of collapsing rocks, the town of Chamonix had to advise against accessing Mont Blanc during certain periods in the summer, despite the tourist attraction of the activity.
8 In the Mediterranean, tourist sites closed due to high temperatures
In 2021, Greece resolved to close its open-air archaeological sites for a few days during the hottest hours: it was then up to 44°C… in the shade. Tourists, like residents, were also asked to limit their electricity consumption. “We are in a phase of absolute climate deregulation”, had hammered the Deputy Minister of Civil Protection Nikos Hardalias.
Not far from there, in Turkey, hotels had been emptied of their residents in an emergency to flee the fires which had become difficult to control due to an unfavorable meteorological cocktail (scorching temperatures, very low humidity, strong winds).
According to a UN report, the Mediterranean regions, which nevertheless attract millions of tourists each summer, will be affected by much worse heat waves, droughts and forest fires in the years to come because of global warming. The report concludes that only keeping global warming well below 2°C – the goal of the Paris Agreement – “would keep coastal settlements and cultural heritage sites (…) in a viable state”.
letelegramme Fr Trans