Glaciers are melting faster and faster in recent years. Photo: EPA/Jean-Christophe Bout
Glaciers in the Swiss Alps have melted more than ever this year. Reducing snow in winter and continuing heat waves in summer have caused glaciers to lose 6% of their total volume, researchers at the Swiss Academy of Sciences said.
Measurements show that Swiss glaciers have lost an average of three meters in thickness this year. This means that about three cubic kilometers of ice or three trillion liters of water has melted: 6% of the total volume of glaciers. “2022 was a disastrous year for Swiss glaciers: all melting records were brokenThe researchers said in a report published Wednesday.
Due to climate change, snowfall at lower altitudes has decreased in recent years, while the melting period begins earlier and earlier in the year. According to scientists, the snow cover that protects the glaciers from the sun was thinner than ever last spring. Then the intense summer heat caused the ice to melt. In addition, there were large amounts of desert dust between March and June: the dust-covered snow absorbed more solar energy and melted faster.
Smaller glaciers such as the Bezel Glacier, Vadret dal Korvach and Schwarzbachwern, among others, were the hardest hit and have now almost disappeared, the report said. He warns that if the climate is not protected and carbon dioxide emissions are not reduced, almost all glaciers in Switzerland will disappear in 50 years.
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