Germany officially has fewer glaciers. After a warm summer, the Bavarian Academy of Sciences announced on Monday that the southern Schneferner River has lost its status as a glacier.
Guradar measurements since mid-September show that the southern Schneferner mountain in Zugspitze – Germany’s highest mountain – has lost a huge amount of ice. In most places, the frozen water is barely two meters thick. At its deepest point, the thickness of the glacier is still 6 meters, compared to 10 meters in 2018. The total surface of the glacier has halved in four years to less than one hectare.
Scientists at the Bavarian Academy of Sciences expect the remaining ice to melt completely within two years. However, due to the small thickness, ice movement is no longer expected, which means that there is no longer an official glacier.
As a result, only four glaciers remain in Germany, and they also melted significantly last summer. These are north of Schneeferner and Höllentalferner on the Zugspitze in the Tyrolean Alps and the Blaueis and Watzmann Glacier in the Berchtesgadener Alps.
Glaciers are fields mostly of ice, snow and trees that usually flow slowly from the mountains into the valley under their own pressure. Most of the glaciers in existence today were formed during the last ice age, about 15,000 years ago.
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