ETH Zurich, a respected federal polytechnic university, and the Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research have released the results of Switzerland’s first reconstruction of ice loss in the 20th century, based in part on an analysis of changes to glacier topography since 1931.
Thus, researchers estimated that glacier ice volumes halved over the next 85 years, through 2016. Since then, the glaciers have lost an additional 12% in just six years.
“Glacial retreat is accelerating. It is important to monitor this phenomenon closely and determine its historical dimensions as it allows us to infer the effects of climate change on glaciers,” explained Daniel Farinotti, co-author of the study published in The Cryosphere.
Glaciers in Switzerland account for about half of all glaciers in the European Alps.
In this study, the researchers relied on a combination of long-term observations of the glaciers. Analysis of field measurements, aerial photographs, and mountaintops, including 22,000 taken from the summits between the two world wars.
Similarly, using various sources, scientists were able to fill in the gaps.
Only a few glaciers in Switzerland have been studied regularly over the years.
In this investigation, decades-old techniques were used to allow comparisons of the shape and location of terrain images, as well as cameras and instruments to measure the angles of land areas. Scientists made a comparison of the topography of the surface of glaciers at different times, which allowed them to make calculations about the evolution of ice volumes.
Taken from Infobae
With information from The Associated Press.
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