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AFP
October 16, 2019

Swiss glaciers shrink 10pc in five years!

World

AFP
October 16, 2019

GENEVA: Switzerland’s glaciers have lost a tenth of their volume in the past five years alone -- a melting rate unmatched during observations stretching back more than a century, a study showed on Tuesday.

Measurements on 20 Swiss glaciers have shown that melt rates this year have reached "record levels", according to the annual study on the state of the glaciers, published by the Cryospheric Commission at the Swiss Academy of Sciences.

The study, released amid growing global alarm over climate change, found that intense heatwaves over the summer in Switzerland had dashed hopes that an exceptionally snow-filled winter would limit the glacier melt this year.

The commission said that in April and May, snow cover on the glaciers was between 20 and 40 percent higher than usual, with depths of up to six metres measured in some places as late as June.

But during two weeks of intense heat at the end of June and again in late July, "the volume of snow and ice melting on Swiss glaciers ... was equivalent to the country’s total annual consumption of drinking water," it said in a statement. The result, it said, was that the thick snow layer quickly disappeared and the strong melt continued until early September.

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