published on 2 September 2020 in water
The Glacier Caravan has come to an end
The Glacier caravan, a tour through the Alps, will end on 4 September, on the Western Glacier of Montasio in Friuli Venezia Giulia. The tour – thought up and promoted by Legambiente in collaboration with the Italian Glaciological Committee – began on August 17 with the aim of monitoring the health of glaciers threatened by climate change. The campaign, this year at its first edition, was divided into 6 legs to monitor the health of 8 glaciers throughout the Alps, with the aim of drawing attention to the effects of climate change in the mountains.
During each leg, the state of the glaciers was monitored, and the results confirmed situations already known for years. Due to global warming, the Alpine glaciers are shrinking. More than 200 have already disappeared, leaving behind only debris and rocks. The comparison between today’s reality and the old photographs of the glaciers leaves no doubt about the phase of reduction they are going through. For example, very little remains of the Fradusta glacier, on the Pale di San Martino cliffs in Trentino. Between 1888 and 2014 the glacier lost more than 95% of its total area, shrinking from 150 to only 3 hectares. Things are no better for the Travignolo glacier, which has shrunk from 30 hectares at the end of the 19th century to the current 15.
As far as the Marmolada glacier is concerned, between 1905 and 2010 the volume was reduced by more than 85% and the thickness at the toe decreased from almost fifty metres at the beginning of the last century to just a few metres today. These figures seem to indicate that it will disappear for ever in 20/30 years.