Mont Blanc glacier in danger of collapse, experts warn

Source(s)
Guardian, the (UK)

By Angela Giuffrida

[...]

Stefano Miserocchi, the mayor of the town of Courmayeur, said “public safety is a priority” after experts from the Fondazione Montagna Sicura (Safe Mountains Foundation) in the Aosta Valley said up to 250,000 cubic metres of ice was in danger of sliding off the Planpincieux glacier on the Grandes Jorasses peak.

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Experts have been monitoring the glacier closely since 2013 to detect the speed at which the ice is melting, and Miserocchi said the rate had “significantly increased” recently. But they are unable to predict when the ice would break away.

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The warning comes as world leaders meet in New York for the UN climate action summit. The Italian prime minister, Giuseppe Conte, said: “The news that part of Mont Blanc risks collapsing is a warning that should not leave us indifferent. It must shake us all and force us to mobilise.”

[...]

Rising temperatures are causing glaciers to melt, with environmental activists in Switzerland holding their second “mourning ceremony” on the evaporating Pizol glacier in the country’s Glarus Alps on Monday. The glacier has lost up to 90% of its volume since 2006. In August, a similar event was held at a glacier in Iceland.

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