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Switzerland Covers Glaciers With Blankets To Protect Them From Climate Change
By Ell Ko, 08 Sep 2021
Image via ID 14919080 © Cristalloid | Dreamstime.com
Blankets are usually deployed to keep out the cold. But the reverse is true here, with Switzerland desperately trying to save its famous glaciers from shrinking any further from global warming.
In recent decades, popular alpine destination Mount Titlis has shrunk a considerable amount no thanks to rising global temperatures, especially during the summer months.
The Swiss government has predicted that around 90% of its remaining glaciers, already thwarted over the last decade, will disappear by the end of the century if greenhouse gas emissions continue at the level they are now.
Officials from a ski resort in the area have resorted to sourcing giant blankets with a total area of more than 100,000 square feet to keep the peaks cool.
Made of fleece, the blankets insulate the ice and snow deposits that are at risk of melting. This is done by reflecting the Sun’s energy back into the atmosphere, hence donning a reflective white color. It matches the snow too, of course.
Employees work over a five to six-week period covering the tips of the glaciers in an attempt to preserve new snow that fell during the last winter. The fleece is described to Reuters as a “natural protective shield” by Gian Darms, who manages snow conditions and piste security for Titlis Bergbahnen, a cable car operator.
Although the blankets aren’t an entirely new addition to the alpines, Darms added that their total size has seen a steady increase in years. Futurism reports that local workers have had to begin sewing blankets together in order to cover this growing area at risk.
[via Futurism, image via ID 14919080 © Cristalloid | Dreamstime.com]
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