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The Hospice du Grand-Saint-Bernard, located in Switzerland on a border pass with Italy at an altitude of 2,473 meters, was founded almost a thousand years ago to house travelers who had to cross the Alps. Canons, four men and one woman, live there today. It is the highest place in Europe inhabited all year round and the oldest meteorological station in the country.
Every day, the religious measure the temperature, visibility, precipitation… Canon Frédéric is responsible for describing the clouds. He has observed them three times a day for twenty-one years: “There, there is a little bit of stratus that is walking between 2800 and 2900 meters. We are lucky here because we have mountains which allow us to see their altitude”, he explains to the magazine “1:15 pm on Saturday” (replay).
“In 1852, the lake froze from mid-October until mid-July …”
Does the canon recognize all the clouds? “Oh yeah, that happens pretty quickly. There are three kinds of cloud layers: low, mid, and high. You get caught up in it and after a while you know what it is. is like cloud. We can’t put cirrus clouds at 2,900 meters or stratus clouds at 6,000 or 8,000 meters. ” These weather reports, carried out for more than two centuries, are a valuable source of information for climatologists.
The hospice is also a privileged observation post for observing global warming with the naked eye: “In 1852, a confrere of the Church said that the lake froze from mid-October until mid-July. Now, it is more from the beginning of November, on average, until the end of June when it is Thawed. We can see that there is a month difference. “
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