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Monday, December 4, 2023

Swiss glaciers underneath menace once more as warmth wave drives zero-temperature stage to file excessive

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GENEVA — The Swiss climate service stated Monday a warmth wave has pushed the zero-degree Celsius stage to its highest altitude since recordings on it in Switzerland started practically 70 years in the past, an ominous new signal for the nation’s vaunted glaciers.

MeteoSwiss says the zero-degree isotherm stage reached 5,298 meters (17,381 ft) above sea stage over Switzerland in a single day Sunday to Monday. All of Switzerland’s snow-capped Alpine peaks — the best being the 4,634-meter (15,203-foot) Monte Rosa summit — have been in air temperatures over the extent the place water freezes to ice, elevating prospects of a thaw.

Even Mont Blanc, Europe’s highest mountain alongside the Italian-French border at some 4,809 meters (15,800 ft), is affected, the climate company stated primarily based on readings from its climate balloons.

The brand new excessive altitude eclipsed a earlier file set in July 2022, a 12 months that consultants say was notably devastating for the glaciers of Switzerland. Readings have been taken on the zero-degree altitude stage since 1954.

“An exceptionally highly effective anticyclone and heat air of subtropical origin are at the moment guaranteeing scorching climate over the nation,” MeteoSwiss stated on its web site, including that many measuring stations in Switzerland have set new temperature information within the second half of August.

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MeteoSwiss meterologist Mikhaël Schwander stated it marked solely the third time such readings had been tallied above 5,000 meters — and that the extent was usually round 3,500 to 4,000 meters in a typical summer season.

“With a zero-degree isotherm far above 5,000m (meters above sea stage), all glaciers within the Alps are uncovered to soften — as much as their highest altitudes,” stated Daniel Farinotti, a glaciologist on the federal technical college in Zurich, ETHZ, in an e mail. “Such occasions are uncommon and detrimental to the glaciers’ well being, as they stay from snow being amassed at excessive altitudes.”

“If such situations persist in the long term, glaciers are set to be misplaced irreversibly,” he stated.

A Swiss examine final 12 months discovered that the nation’s 1,400-odd glaciers — probably the most in Europe — had misplaced greater than half their whole quantity because the early Thirties, together with a 12-percent decline over the earlier six years alone.


Observe AP’s local weather and environment protection at https://apnews.com/hub/climate-and-environment

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