Swiss glaciers have lost 10% of their volume in two years, a report has found. The analysis from the Swiss Academy of Sciences have credited climate change as the reasoning behind the accelerated melting.
The scientists have claimed that the burning of fossil fuels is the main cause of the unusually hot summers and winters with low snow levels that we’ve experienced in recent years. The overall hotter temperatures have led to glaciers all over the world experiencing accelerated melting.
According to the report, the volume lost in the Swiss glaciers between the summers of 2022 and 2023 equates to the volume lost between 1960 and 1990.
The analysis also found that 4% of Switzerland’s total glacier volume disappeared last year, which marks the second biggest annual decline on record. The largest decline on record was in 2022 with a 6% drop.
Experts have also stopped measuring certain glaciers and the amount of ice it’s lost due to the fact that their decline has been so rapid. Glacier Monitoring in Switzerland (Glamos), which keeps track of 176 glaciers, just recently stopped recording data for the St. Annafirn glacier in the central Swiss canton of Uri due to the fact that it’s mostly melted at this point.
Matthias Huss, the head of Glamos, stated:
“We just had some dead ice left. It’s a combination of climate change that makes such extreme events more likely, and the very bad combination of meteorological extremes. If we continue at this rate … we will see every year such bad years.”
Small glaciers are disappearing from ice loss, and in order to stop these glaciers from melting, carbon emissions and the burning of fossil fuels must be halted. However, Huss stated that even if the world managed to “keep warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre industrial levels,” only one third of the glacier volume in Switzerland will remain.
“All the small glaciers will be gone anyway, and the big glaciers will be much smaller. There will be some ice in the highest regions of the Alps and some glaciers that we can show to our grandchildren,” Huss stated.
Eric Mastrota is a Contributing Editor at The National Digest based in New York. A graduate of SUNY New Paltz, he reports on world news, culture, and lifestyle. You can reach him at email@example.com.