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The Melting Season

The West is getting hotter, with Europe and the US feeling the heat this summer. The mercury has already touched 40 degrees Celsius during daytime in several US cities. The average temperature has remained 38 degrees Celsius, as some places have recorded 50 degrees Celsius. However, offices and educational institutions have remained open. The concerned authorities in the US are using a special technology to keep the roads cool, in order to give some sort of comfort to the commuters.

Reports suggest that a special type of coating is being put on the roads so that more sunlight could get reflected. This coating has helped keep the surface temperature 11 degrees Celsius below the normal. It has also reduced the surrounding temperature, keeping the night temperature low. This technology has already been used in Los Angeles and South Carolina.

Naturalists have blamed Climate Change for this situation, saying that Global Warming has terribly increased the night temperature. Europe, too, is feeling the heat of Global Warming.

The highest cable car station at the Diavolezza ski area in Pontresina, Switzerland (Photo: Reuters)

A part of a glacier collapsed at one end of the Alps, and some members of a trekking team perished immediately. Swiss glaciologist Andreas Linsbauer has said the end of the summer (in late September) is the melt season in the Alps. “Exceptionally, high ice loss this year has brought me to this 15 sqkm amphitheatre of ice two months early for emergency maintenance work,” he stressed.

The Swiss Government has been monitoring the glaciers in the Alps for the past 60 years. The scientists keep an eye on the amount of snowfalls, calculating the amount of gathering, as well as melting of snow over the years, especially during winter each year, mainly to understand the shrinking of glacier. Significantly, the Alps recorded less snow falls in 2021. On the other hand, Switzerland experienced heat waves in the summer for two consecutive years. In 2021, the temperature reached 30 degrees Celsius in Zermatt, a mountain resort renowned for skiing, climbing and hiking situated in southern Switzerland’s Valais canton. It cannot be imagined in that region.

Glaciers are melting all across the globe; however, experts are worried about the Alps, as it has less snow compared to the other mountains. Furthermore, the Alps is experiencing an increase of 0.03 degrees Celsius in temperature per decade, which is twice the increase in average global temperature. Matthias Huss, who leads Glacier Monitoring Switzerland (GLAMOS), stressed: “I did not expect to see such an extreme year so early in the century.

Glaciologists in Austria, France and Italy have also confirmed that glaciers are on track for record losses due to heat. “The glaciers are snow-free up to the summits,” said Andrea Fischer, a Glaciologist at the Austrian Academy of Sciences. For his part, Marco Giardino, the Vice President of the Italian Glaciological Committee, said: “You can easily imagine the final results after summer will be extensive loss of glacier coverage in the Italian Alps.

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