‘Funeral’ held for Pizol Glacier in Switzerland

23rd September 2019, by Abi Butcher

Image from VAW Glaciology:

Image from VAW Glaciology: "In deepest sadness, Switzerland has celebrated a commemoration for Pizol Glacier today"

Hundreds of skies, hikers, climbers and mountain folk — as well as climate change activists — gathered yesterday in the Swiss Alps to mourn the loss of the Pizol Glacier. The funeral march, organised by the Swiss Association for Climate Protection (SACP) took place in the Glarus Alps, in north-eastern Switzerland, where mourners trekked up to around 2700m near the Liechtenstein and Austrian borders.

The glacier is the first in Switzerland to disappear almost completely — with scientists reporting that the it has lost more than 80% of its volume since 2006 due to rising global temperatures. A Swiss climate campaigner told AFP news agency that while there is still a few lumps of frozen ice on the Pizol, from a scientific perspective it is no longer classified as a glacier.

All skiers can see for themselves the drastic changes in the mountains, and ski resorts are working hard to switch to sustainable and renewable energy, to cover glaciers and do as much to protect the retracting snowline as they can — but the effects of global warming on the mountains, and the sport of skiing, are undeniable.

One study quoted yesterday said that by 2100, unless greenhouse gas emissions are not reduced, more than 90 per cent of Alpine glaciers could disappear. The Swiss Association for Climate Protection (SACP) is calling for zero carbon dioxide emissions in Switzerland by 2050.

In Iceland last month, a funeral ceremony was held to commemorate the loss of Okjokull, a 700-year-old glacier.


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