Switzerland: Glaciers, witnesses to the impact of climate change

employment Switzerlandafter, after Walking for hours on the mountain among a sea of ​​iceAnd Swiss ice scientist Matthias Haas He sits near the center of a huge glacier and checks its measurements.

Analyze the data collected in AlitchAnd The largest glacier in the Alps, Draw a disturbing picture to the impact of climate change over the giant.

in the past decade, It has an area of ​​about 80 square kilometers of ice and rocksIt loses 1.5 meters in thickness every year.

Alitch, It contains 20% of the total ice volume of 1800 Swiss glaciers, saw the melting of cubic kilometers of ice in the same period. “Change is happening very, very quickly,” Haas says.

In the past decade, the 80 square kilometer glacier of ice and rock has lost 1.5 meters of thickness each year. Photo: AFP

The 41-year-old researcher runs Glacier Monitoring Network (glamos), a scientific network documenting a file shrinking glaciers Swiss greenhouse.

Glaciers are really a giant, visible thermometer,” he comments, after noting that “it’s more sad to see a glacier losing its size and thickness than to look at a graph.” High temperatures“.

“Glaciers are beautiful,” he says, commenting on people’s sometimes emotional response to meditation on decline. The future disappearance of these ice formations.

Glamus scientists monitor about 20 Swiss glaciers each year, and they note that since 2010, the pace of ice loss has accelerated significantly since 2010.

One of those years was 2011, the second 2015, then 2017, 2018, and 2019, It all broke records for ice loss.

Photo: AFP

Glacier Bisol, a symbolic funeral

Although 2020 was not the year of extremism, Swiss glaciers have lost 2% of their total volume and the negative trend may continue this yearDespite heavy snowfall and relatively cold winters, Haas said.

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Global warming is progressing so rapidly that many small glaciers have already disappeared.

In September 2019, Hass participated in a symbolic funeral for the Biesol glacier in northeastern Switzerland, at an altitude of 2700 metres.

  • Since then we’ve stopped watching BIZOL, it doesn’t make sense anymoreHossam lamented.

He plans to collect two final samples in the coming weeks, although he admits “after that, it will really be the end”.

He’s sure of it BIZOLIt won’t be the last glacier to melt completely.

In the next ten to twenty years, other well-known glaciers will definitely disappear‘, lament.

Photo: AFP

childish joy

Hoss has been fascinated by huge ice formations since his childhood, When Gorner visited the giant Glaciernear Zermatt.

“Every time I go back to a glacier, I get that special feeling, and I think of the first time,” he said.

That childlike joy appears every time her slender but athletic figure cuts through the blue cracks in her path.

Given his “mania” love for glaciers, One might think it sad to document his rapid disappearance.

“It’s true that it’s frustrating as a human being,” he admits. “But as a scientist it is interesting to see and analyze such rapid changes“.

Hoss hopes that scientific measurements about the state of the glaciers will lead to concrete action.

“I have the impression that there has been a real change in the way we think about politics (…) A lot of people are now saying we should act,” he said.

Although there are more and more action plans, Haas insists that “At some point they have to turn into something real“.

Photo: AFP
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