Blankets Being Used to Keep the Glaciers Cool at a Resort in Switzerland
Blankets are usually used in winters in order to keep its user warm, it basically traps the heat, which is otherwise lost through convection. However, a ski resort in the Swiss Alps in Switzerland is using blankets to cover the glaciers to protect them from melting in the heat.
Gian Darms, who handles snow conditions for a cable car operator called Titlis Bergbahnen, said that they lay the fleece over the glacier like a natural protective shield to avert the melting.
The protective sheet is being laid on the 10,623-ft. Mount Titlis. The mountain’s glacier has already lost much ice in the last few decades due to global warming-induced melting and is likely to disappear completely within the next fifty years due to the climate crisis.
To interrupt this process, resort employees cover glacier parts with polyester fleece during summers, which helps in retracing the sun’s radiation to the atmosphere, which prevents ice from melting. The employees also use collected snow to fill in the cracks on the glacial surface. So far the amount of the covered glacier has increased over time to almost 100,000 square meters.
According to a 2019 study, the European Alps might lose around two-thirds of its glacier cover by 2100 if carbon emissions are not reduced. Another study published this year concluded that mountain glaciers were melting at exceptional rates, with the fastest-melting glaciers in Alaska and the Alps.
As per the Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research (WSL), seven other glaciers in the Swiss Alps have been covered and one small glacier at the Diavolezza resort was even “brought back to life” using this approach.
A recent study from WSL, ETH Zurich and the University of Fribourg found that the method of covering glaciers with ice is quite effective in protecting smaller local glaciers but this tactic would cost more than $1 billion a year to cover all of Switzerland’s glaciers, which is quite a lot.
Leader Matthias Huss concluded by mentioning that “the only way to effectively limit the global retreat of glaciers is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and thus the warming of the atmosphere.”
Via: Eco Watch