LIFE & CULTURE
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Glaciers in the Alps are melting faster than ever – and 2022 was their worst summer yet

Neil Entwistle
Published Fri, Oct 21, 2022 · 02:00 PM

FINALLY, after what was arguably the worst summer on record for glaciers, snow has begun to fall in the European Alps. It is much needed. Over the 19 years that I have visited and studied the glaciers in Switzerland, I have not seen a summer like 2022. The scale of change is staggering.

Glaciologists like me used to use the word “extreme” to describe annual ice loss of around 2 per cent of a glacier’s overall volume. This year Switzerland’s glaciers have lost an average of 6.2 per cent of their ice – extreme indeed.

The new flurries of snow will form a protective blanket to shield and reflect 90 per cent of the sun’s radiation back into the atmosphere and limits the warming and melting of the ice beneath. When snow falls over the winter, a…

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