Glacier is wrapped up, to slow down melting!

A SWISS glacier is melting so rapidly that it has been covered with tarpaulin to try to slow down the rate.

Parts of the Gurschengletscher glacier are blanketed with tarpaulins, near the peak of Mount Gemsstock, which stands 2,961 metres high.

The glacier in Andermatt, Switzerland, is the latest to be given this treatment, in an attempt to stop it retreating, while the Rhône Glacier has been covered during the summer, every year since 2010.

David Volken, a Rhône glaciologist, told USA Today: “It reduces the melting by 50% to 70%.”

The blankets are stuffed with a heavy-duty fleece material, which insulates the ice and reflects back sunlight, and they are left on the glacier from spring until autumn, when it is most vulnerable.

Matthias Huss, head of the Swiss Glacier Monitoring Network, said: “The blankets protect the underlying snow and ice from the sunlight. Another benefit is the thermal insulation they provide, but they don’t stop the melting, totally. Yet these blankets are very useful in slowing down ice loss, locally.”

But admitted that only a small volume of the glacier could be covered at a time, adding: “This method will never be able to save our glaciers, or counteract the negative consequences of climate change.”



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Posted by on Jul 19 2019. Filed under World News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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