Wednesday, March 22, 2023

This shack remains Italian

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Climate change is causing glaciers – such as the Theodul Glacier near Zermatt – to melt.

Hardened fronts in the melting ice: Switzerland and Italy fought over a hut on the Testa Grigia, the Graukopf, a rock hump at an altitude of 3479 meters. Climate change has melted the glacier there – and with it fueled the question of where exactly the border is now. The two countries have been discussing the possible border since 2018. Because of climate change, the Italian mountain hut was half in Switzerland.

The reason for this is the so-called watershed rule. This states that in the mountains the watershed, i.e. the mountain ridge, determines the border. The Testa Grigia hut would therefore actually be largely located in Switzerland today. Where there is no natural boundary, around 7,000 boundary stones mark the artificial boundary line. This is reasonably fixed. But the natural boundaries are constantly changing, due to rockfalls, storms – or climate change.

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