Human Impact on the Earth: Switzerland's Great Aletsch Glacier

Ahead of the UN Climate Conference in December, Reuters has released the fourth of their “Earthprints” series focusing on how humans change the landscape of the planet, featuring Switzerland’s shrinking Great Aletsch Glacier. From Reuters: “One of Europe’s biggest glaciers, the Great Aletsch, coils 23 km (14 miles) through the Swiss Alps—and yet this mighty river of ice could almost vanish in the lifetimes of people born today because of climate change. The glacier, 900 meters (2,950 feet) thick at one point, has retreated about 3 km (1.9 miles) since 1870 and that pace is quickening.” Reuters also quotes Andreas Vieli, a professor at the University of Zurich’s group of glaciology experts, who says that “the Aletsch may lose 90 percent of its ice volume by 2100, with the lower reaches melting away.” He adds, “My kids are going to see a very different scenery in the Alps.”

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