Switzerland will soon be without glaciers
An international study came to the conclusion that the retreat of the glaciers can no longer be stopped. Particularly affected by the catastrophic consequences: Switzerland.
This view of the Aletsch Glacier will no longer exist in the future due to the climate catastrophe.
Silvia ChuiSociety Editor
The Swiss glaciers are probably lost, writes the renowned US magazine “Science” in its current issue. Even if we use our CO2emissions were to stop immediately, this would no longer be preventable. If the temperature rises by 1.5 degrees, almost half of the 215,000 glaciers studied worldwide will melt completely. The limitation to 1.5 degrees seems more and more improbable. If global warming reaches two degrees, 70 percent of the world’s glaciers will melt.
Current calculations show that the current climate targets of all countries are not sufficient to limit the increase to 1.5 degrees. This means that in the Alps, as in Canada, the USA and New Zealand, the glaciers are disappearing entirely. Only in the high mountains of Asia, in parts of Alaska and Russia, the Arctic and the Antarctic would there still be glaciers in this scenario at the end of this century.
Catastrophic consequences such as droughts in the summer months and a reduction in biodiversity
This is problematic for many reasons: On the one hand, melting glaciers lead to a rise in sea levels, which leads to increased and drastic flooding in coastal areas. On the other hand, the disappearance of the glaciers also has drastic effects on Switzerland: During the dry summer months, glacier water supplies our rivers, our fauna and flora and our agriculture with water. If it disappears, Switzerland will face drought months with catastrophic consequences for our biodiversity and our food security.
The researchers conclude that stronger climate protection measures are essential, says the co-author of the study, Matthias Huss from ETH Zurich to SRF: “Even if we cannot save the glaciers as they currently look, every tenth of a degree saved causes warming a smaller decline and therefore also less negative effects”.