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Sunday October 21, 2018 - Email this article to a friend

A new study claims they lost 2.5% of their volume over this summer. The melt is likely repeated across the other alpine nations.

It was one of the hottest summers in Europe on record and the heat hammered the glaciers.

The Swiss Academy of Sciences has released a report that says the Swiss glaciers have lost one fifth of their ice over the past decade.

That is enough to cover the whole country with 25 cm of water.

Last summer was one of the worst on record and the ice has not melted by so much since the summer heatwave of 2003.

Summer among the Swiss glaciersSummer among the Swiss glaciers
















Summer among the Swiss glaciersSummer among the Swiss glaciers
















Last winter saw the most snow in Switzerland for 20 years and there had been hopes the glaciers would have been boosted by this.

Apart from the high temperatures over the summer there was also very little summer snowfall.

"Since the beginning of records 81 years ago, there has never been so little fresh snow in summer," said the report.

"The shrinking of glaciers is directly linked to climate change," said Matthias Huss, director of the Swiss network for glacier data, GLAMOS, to the AFP news agency.

"Glaciers are very sensitive to higher air temperatures, which are clearly linked to higher concentrations of CO2 in the atmosphere," he said.

If warming continues at the same pace, many smaller glaciers will completely disappear in the coming years.

Ferpecle glacier, SwitzerlandFast shrinking Ferpécle glacier, Switzerland - photo Climb For Climate
















Morteratsch glacierAlpine glaciers are shrinking














The high temperatures have taken their toll across the Alps, not just in Switzerland.

The French glacier resort of Les2Alpes has had to cancel its autumn opening. Again.

Tignes opened last week but the conditions were far from ideal as we reported here on PlanetSKI.

Tignes glacierTignes glacier last week - photo Marcia Nash

The report on the state of the Swiss glaciers follows an earlier report highlighting the shrinking levels of snow.

Here at PlanetSKI we recognise the increasing concerns about the glaciers and have reported on one organisation's attempt to raise awareness and do something about it.

And in terms of summer glacier skiing we have a simple view.

Alpine glaciersAlpine glaciers















Alpine glaciersAlpine glaciers

See here for the main PlanetSKI news page with all the latest stories from the mountains.

For the Spirit of the Mountains - PlanetSKI: Number One for ski news

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