23.6 C
New York
Monday, August 15, 2022

The glaciers sweat in the heat

The “eternal ice” is threatened by climate change. With the melting glaciers, the archives that go back the longest about weather, climate, vegetation or human influence are also disappearing.

Die Presse: We are currently experiencing one heat wave after the other in Europe. What is the current condition of the Alpine glaciers?

Andrea Fischer: The glaciers in the Eastern Alps are doing a little worse than those in the Western Alps. In the lower Eastern Alps, the ice has already thinned out considerably, and the glaciers are suffering from the heat. In the western Alps, the ice sheets are even thicker, but the past winter with little snow led to unprecedented melting rates there as well. But it is not as prominent as in the Eastern Alps.

What does a layman see from this melting process?

Glaciers used to be perceived as shiny white surfaces. Due to the absence of the snow layer and the large amount of debris, these areas are now gray and dark. It is difficult to tell from a distance where the glacier actually begins. When you are near the glacier, you will notice the large meltwater streams. They are very dark because they carry a lot of sediment. Sometimes you can hear it rumbling because there are also many larger stones in the melt water. And if you know the glacier, you will notice the loss of area within a few days.

Which scenarios result from the research for the Alpine glaciers?

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