Switzerland: Glaciers have never melted so quickly

Switzerland: Glaciers have never melted so quickly

Swiss glaciers “shattered” all melting records in 2022 under the twin effect of a dry winter and an intense summer heat wave. Climate change is visible to all.

If we reduce CO2 emissions and protect the climate, “it could save about 1/3 of the total volume in Switzerland in the best case”. Otherwise, according to him, “by the end of the century” the glaciers in Switzerland would have practically disappeared.

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In the spring, the depth of snow in the Alps was never so low and sand dust from the Sahara mixed the snow with the soil. So it absorbed more heat, melted faster and deprived the glaciers of a protective layer of ice from the beginning of summer.

The ice was subjected to a heat wave without its usual protective shield.

In late summer, the tongue of land at the junction of the Tsanfleuron glacier and the Scex Rouge, a little over 2,800 m, was found in the open air for the first time since that time. Roman.

And in early July, the collapse of a massive block of the Marmolada Glacier, the highest peak in the Italian Alps, killed eleven people and demonstrated the gravity of the situation.

According to the report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) published in the spring, melting of snow and ice is one of the ten major threats caused by global warming.

little ones first

“The damage was catastrophic for small glaciers”, underline Swiss experts.

Pizzol in the east of the country – whose funeral was already celebrated in 2019 – has now “virtually disappeared”, as has Vadrat dal Korvatsch in the country’s southeast or Schwarzbachfiren in the south. The situation is so bad that the action has been stopped.

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At an altitude of 3,000 m above sea level, in the Engadine region in south-eastern Switzerland and south of Valais “a layer of ice 4 to 6 m thick has disappeared, sometimes more than twice its maximum” so far. has been recorded.

The group of experts stressed, “Even at the highest measurement points, such as the Jungfraujoch (which ends at an altitude of about 3,500 meters, on the editor’s note) we are able to measure significant damage.”

an event that will intensify

The phenomenon will intensify, notes the report: “Observations show that many tongues of ice are breaking up and islets of rock appear in the middle of glaciers when the ice is not very thick. So many processes that further accelerate the decline. Speeds up. ยป

“These developments also show the importance of glaciers during hot and dry years for water and energy supplies”, explain the experts.

A turning point for a country where hydroelectricity provides more than 60% of the country’s total energy production.

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