Swiss glaciers shrink 10 per cent in five years: Study

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Swiss glaciers

The study was released amid rising global alarm over climate change, found that an intense heatwave during the summer in Switzerland has dashed hopes that the snow-filled winter will severely limit the glacier melt this year.
Swiss glaciers have lost a tenth of their volume in the last five years alone – the rate of melting unchallenged for observations stretching back more than a century, a study showed Tuesday.

Measurements at 20 Swiss glaciers have shown that the level of the melt this year has reached a “record”, according to an annual study on the state of the glaciers, which is published by the Commission cryospheric Swiss Academy of Sciences.

The study was released amid rising global alarm over climate change, found that an intense heatwave during the summer in Switzerland has dashed hopes that the snow-filled winter will severely limit the glacier melt this year.

The Commission said that in April and May, cover snow on the glacier is between 20 and 40 percent higher than usual, with a depth of up to six meters measured in some places until the end of June.

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But for two weeks of intense heat in late June and again in late July, “the volume of snow and ice melting on a Swiss glacier … it’s equivalent to the country’s total annual consumption of drinking water,” he said in a statement.

The result, he says, is that the deep snow quickly disappeared and strong melt continues until early September.

“This means that, over the past 12 months, approximately two percent of the total volume of glaciers Switzerland has been lost,” the commission said, adding that the rate of loss over the last five years, “exceeded 10 percent.” Sign it “levels the decline never previously observed in the time series extend back for more than a century, “he said.

Research Tuesday came less than a month after the “funeral march” made a steep mountain to mark the Pizol glacier loss – one of more than 500 glaciers disappearing from the Swiss Alps since the turn of the 20th century.

A recent study by glaciologist at the technical university ETH in Zurich showed that more than 90 percent of about 4,000 glaciers dotted throughout the Alps could be lost by the end of this century if greenhouse gas emissions are not restrained.

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