the GLACIERS in Italy are Disappearing! Situation, Dangers and Prospects for the Future »

Weather: the GLACIERS in Italy are disappearing! Situation, Dangers and Prospects for the Future

Glacier alarm on our mountains (photo: Mattia Gussoni)Alpine glaciers are disappearing. We all realized it, something in terms of climate on the planet (and also in Italy) is changing. It’s getting hotter and hotter, especially in summer, with consequences that begin to be serious between heat waves abruptly interrupted by extreme weather events (cyclones, tornadoes, hailstorms, flash floods).

So let’s take stock of the situation analyzing dangers e perspectives for the future for our country’s natural ice reservoirs.

The climate warming is causing heavy and multiple environmental effects on the Italian Alps, including loss of snow and ice and the permafrost degradation (layer of soil frozen permanently, i.e. the temperature of which does not exceed zero for at least two consecutive years).
It is estimated that from 1850 to today, while the average annual temperature increased by 2°C (double the global average), the areas covered by alpine glaciers were reduced by more than 60%.
Glaciers represent, in essence, the thermometer of climate change: the extent of climate warming in recent decades is clearly expressed in them e their loss also endangers the summer outflows of rivers, especially in the North, which derive for the most part from glacial melting. As the glaciers fail, their contribution to the Alpine streams and rivers of the Po Valley would vanish (including the Po) with significant consequences on the water supply for the population and for economic activities, starting withagriculture.

Now, therefore, the climate problem it is no longer just about polar bears or who knows what distant lands, but it is also very present here, in the territories in which we live every day. Melting of glaciers has always happened, even in the past, however our footprint on the system is ever more incisive due, as confirmed by the latest report of theIPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change), dell’increased concentrations of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the earth’s atmosphere, mainly due touse of fossil fuels.

Over the last glaciological campaign, our Meteorologist Technician, Mattia Gussoni, performed for the Lombard Glaciological Service the findings at the Ventina glacier, in Valmalenco (Lombardy, Rhaetian Alps). What emerges is an alarming photograph that the cold data try to tell: compared to 2020, the glacier is 30 meters back, confirming a negative trend that now seems unstoppable.
“In the lasts 10 years the regress was more than that 350 meters, we basically lost the equivalent of forever 3 football fields in a very short time”, commented Gussoni.

The Meteorologist Technician continues “from the studies and researches of the Lombard Glaciological Service it emerges that the average annual withdrawal rate on the secular average it is about 15 meters (the advanced stages between the 70s and 80s are also included). What is most surprising is that in the last period it has gone to about 35 meters every year, a double value and entirely new (anomalous) regarding the history of the Ventina Glacier ..“. The prospect, if the climatic trend were to be confirmed also in the next few years (the official projections confirm this trend), is for a disappearance of the glacial masses on a large part of the Alpine arc below 2800 meters of altitude.
The environmental change taking place clearly emerges from the photographic comparison below.The Ventina glacier: 350m backward in 10 years. Below, the temperatures are constantly rising

Constantly rising temperatures in the Alps, an average 2 ° C more in a century (photo: Mattia Gussoni)Constantly rising temperatures in the Alps, an average 2 ° C more in a century (photo: Mattia Gussoni)

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