Sep 23, 2019

In photos: Hundreds mourn Swiss glacier's loss to global warming

People take part in a ceremony to mark the "death" of the Pizol glacier (Pizolgletscher) above Mels, eastern Switzerland, Sunday. All photos: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP/Getty Images

Hundreds of people attended a memorial service Sunday to mark the loss of Pizol glacier in the eastern Swiss Alps to global warming, NPR reports.

Why it matters: ETH Zurich university glacier specialist Matthias Huss told CNN that Pizol had "disappeared" after losing 80-90% of its volume since 2006. An April study by European researchers warns that from 2017 to 2050, about 50% of glacier volume in the Alps will vanish, "largely independently of how much we cut our greenhouse gas emissions."

The memorial took place as world leaders gathered in New York City for the UN climate summit this week.
An organizer of the "funeral march" tells CNN what's happening at Pizol is a "warning sign" about "what is going to happen if we don't change something about our behavior."
The April study determined that more than 90% of Alpine glaciers will disappear by 2100 if greenhouse gas emissions are left unchecked.

After 2050, "the future evolution of glaciers will strongly depend on how the climate will evolve," the study says.

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Mont Blanc glacier could collapse, experts warn

Mount Blanc. Photo: Pino Pacifico/REDA&CO/Universal Images Group/Getty Images

Italian authorities closed roads and evacuated mountain homes in northwestern Italy on Wednesday after experts warned that 250,000 cubic meters of ice could break away from a glacier on the Mont Blanc massif in the Alps at any moment, according to The Guardian.

Why it matters: A geologist who has monitored the glacier since 2013 told the New York Times that, although climate change was not directly connected to the creation of the crevasse, its melting rate has significantly increased as a result of rising temperatures.

Go deeperArrowSep 25, 2019

Key science report shows "unprecedented" changes to oceans and frozen regions

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Global warming is greatly transforming the planet's oceans and frozen regions, and future emissions levels will dictate how much additional harm unfolds this century and beyond, a major United Nations-led scientific analysis shows.

Why it matters: "The ocean is warmer, more acidic and less productive. Melting glaciers and ice sheets are causing sea level rise, and coastal extreme events are becoming more severe," the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) said in a statement alongside Wednesday's report.

Go deeperArrowSep 25, 2019

UN report: Climate change causes and impacts are increasing

Children on melting ice at the climate-change impacted illage of Napakiak on the Yukon Delta in Alaska in April. Photo: Mark Ralston/AFP/Getty Images

As world leaders gather in New York City for the United Nations Climate Action Summit Monday, a UN report warns climate change is accelerating — with the Earth on track for the warmest 5-year period on record.

"Climate change causes and impacts are increasing rather than slowing down. Sea level rise has accelerated and we are concerned that an abrupt decline in the Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets, which will exacerbate future rise. As we have seen this year with tragic effect in the Bahamas and Mozambique, sea level rise and intense tropical storms led to humanitarian and economic catastrophes."
— World Meteorological Organization Secretary-General Petteri Taalas
Go deeperArrowSep 23, 2019