7 hours ago
Mourning a Swiss glacier
More than 100 environmental activists held a funeral service on Sunday for the melted Pizol glacier in eastern Switzerland.
After a "funeral march" of about two hours, the participants, dressed in mourning clothes, reached the foot of the glacier at an altitude of around 2,700 metres near the border with Liechtenstein and Austria. They wanted to draw attention to the threat of climate change.
Pizol "has lost so much of its mass that, from a scientific point of view, it is no longer a glacier at all," said Alessandra Degiacomi of the Swiss Association for Climate Protection, one of the NGOs behind the funeral.
According to Matthias Huss, a glaciologist at the federal technology institute ETH Zurich, who took part in the ceremony, the Pizol glacier has lost up to 90% of its volume since 2006 and is now only the size of around four football pitches.
Huss estimates that more than 500 Swiss glaciers have completely disappeared since 1850, of which only 50 had a name. "So the Pizol is not the first. But it can be considered the first Swiss glacier to disappear that has been very well studied,” he said.
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