As a result of a warm summer, 7000-year-old ice melted – Earth – Science and technology

Some smaller glaciers in Switzerland have lost significant amounts of ice this summer due to record heat.

At the same time, scientists were forced to end some monitoring programs because there was no ice left at the measuring stations, the DPA agency reported over the weekend.

“What we’re seeing is more impressive than anything we’ve ever thought possible,” glaciologist Matthias Huss, head of the GLAMOS measuring station network at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zurich, told DPA.

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According to Huss, some layers of ice on the Vadret dal Corvatsch glacier in the canton of Graubünden, which formed around 7,000 years ago, have melted, so his monitoring must be stopped. The dating of the ice is based on earlier measurements made by Germany’s Heidelberg University.

Scientists from the GLAMOS program have been monitoring glaciers for decades, measuring how much snow has fallen in winter and how much it melts in summer. Already in 2019, they decided to gradually end the measurement programs on the three smaller glaciers Pizolgletscher, Vadret dal Corvatsch and Schwarzbachfirn.

However, they hoped to continue the measurements for some time because the loss of ice slowed down last year. But the situation changed this summer, when the loss of ice was enormous and for technical reasons it is no longer possible to measure it.

The retreat of glaciers is not a new phenomenon. The volume of Swiss glaciers has more than halved between 1931 and 2016, according to the conclusions of a study by the ETH and the Swiss Federal Research Institute for Forests, Snow and Landscape, published on August 22 in the scientific journal Cryosphere.

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Although ice increased in some areas in the 1920s and late 1970s, the climate in the 20th century was generally unfavorable for glaciers, according to the study. Over time, they drowned faster and faster.

The study also showed that not all glaciers were equally affected by the retreat. How much of a glacier recedes depends on its altitude, how flat its tongue is, and how much dirt it’s covered with. Glaciers in the eastern part of Switzerland were shrinking faster than in the south, where the iconic Matterhorn is also located.

According to the latest data, the 1,400 glaciers in Switzerland cover an area of ​​less than 1,000 square kilometers, which is about half of the area of ​​glaciers in the entire Alps.


Source: Pravda – Veda a technika by vat.pravda.sk.

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