Glaciers in the French Alps have become of one fourth smaller

2011 - 12 - 07

During last 40 years the area which is covered by glaciers in the French Alps has become of one fourth smaller. This is shown by the results of a current research of a team led by Marie Gardent from the University of Savoie, which BBC has informed about.

At the turn of the sixties and seventies the glaciers in the area around Mont Blanc covered the surface of 375 square kilometres, now this place has reduced to 275 square kilometres. While mapping the situation the team was using aerial and satellite photos but they were also sending explorations out to the mountains to check how much their interpretation is right.

Even in the middle of the eighties the area reduced to 340 square kilometres. Then the decline speeded up more and now only 275 square kilometres are under ice. During forty years the area covered by glaciers has become of 26 per cent smaller.

The biggest loss is in the south, in Belledonne masif the glaciers have almost disappeared and the decline of Ecrins masif is three times bigger than at Mont Blanc. That is there where is the largest French glacier La Mer de Glace, which now covers 30 square kilometres, while 40 years ago it was 31.5 square kilometres.

“The report about glaciers decline in the Frech Alps is, after the report about a bad condition of the third of European forests, another evidence that climate changes impacts are very strongly felt also in Europe. All European countries should therefore pay the biggest attention not only to the measures of greenhouse gases emissions reduction, but also to addaptation arrangements which will help people and nature cope with the negative consequences of global warming,“ stated Dalibor Dostal, the director of European Wildilfe conservative organisation.

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