7000 years of historical past disappear with the melting of the Corvatsch glacier in Graubünden –

7000 years of historical past disappear with the melting of the Corvatsch glacier in Graubünden –

With the retreat of the glaciers, researchers additionally lose information. This summer time, the Corvatsch glacier in Graubünden has seen a lot ice soften that it may not be measured: 7,000-year-old layers of ice have disappeared.

The measurement program of the Vadret dal Corvatsch within the Bernina vary in Graubünden should be interrupted, as a result of there’s merely no ice left on the measurement factors, mentioned glaciologist Matthias Huss. All that is left for the staff to do is decide up their gear.

Matthias Huss, director of the Swiss glacier monitoring community “Glacier Monitoring Switzerland” (Glamos), described the lack of ice recorded this summer time on small glaciers as “excessive”. “What we see is extra necessary than something we thought attainable up to now,” he mentioned. In Corvatsch, layers of ice melted once they had been there for about 7000 years.

“Dramatic” modifications

The truth that the Corvatsch’s measuring gadgets must be dismantled will not be a shock in itself. Already in 2019, it was determined to finish the measurement packages on the three smallest glaciers: the Vadret dal Corvatsch in addition to these of Pizol and Schwarbachfirn.

“However because the soften was weaker final yr than in earlier years, we hoped to have the ability to nonetheless perform measurements for some time,” continued the specialist.

The panorama has additionally modified “dramatically”, mentioned Matthias Huss. The ice, already skinny earlier than, has disappeared in lots of locations. On the Corvatsch, an ice ridge with millennial ice has nearly utterly disappeared. Solely a hint continues to be seen.

As a part of Glamos, glaciologists have been measuring glaciers for many years. This program, managed collectively by ETHZ and the Universities of Friborg and Zurich, is in shut contact with the knowledgeable fee of the cryosphere measurement community.

Glaciers have misplaced half their quantity

The retreat of glaciers will not be a brand new phenomenon: the quantity of Swiss glaciers halved between 1931 and 2016. That is the conclusion of‘a examine printed in early August by ETH Zurich and the Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Panorama Analysis.

>> Examine it: The quantity of Swiss glaciers has been halved since 1931

Even when the lots of ice partly elevated within the Nineteen Twenties and Nineteen Eighties, the local weather of the twentieth century could have been usually unfavorable to them, signifies the examine. Over time, they melted quicker and quicker.

The examine additionally confirmed that not all glaciers had been affected in the identical manner by the retreat. The extent to which a glacier melts is determined by the altitude at which it’s positioned, the diploma of flattening of the glacier tongue and the thickness of the layer of particles overlaying it.


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