〒180-0006 東京都武蔵野市中町2-3-5 IIHA武蔵野1階
Dear MEL Topic Readers,
Chunk of glacier breaks loose in Italian Alps, killing at least 6 hikers
Glaciers are massive bodies of slowly moving ice that forms on land. They are made up of fallen snow that gets compressed into ice over many centuries. Most glaciers today are remnants of the massive ice sheets that covered Earth during the Ice Age, which ended over10,000 years ago. Since glacial mass is affected by long-term climatic changes, its changes are considered among the most sensitive indicators of climate change like sea levels.
On July 3, a large chunk of Alpine glacier broke loose and slid down a mountainside in Italy, sending ice, snow, and rock slamming into hikers on a popular trail on the peak killing at least six and injuring eight. 10 or so people are also missing. The glacier was in the Marmolada range whose peak is about 3,300 meters high and hadn’t collapsed like this before. However, Europe had been unusually hot for the last several days and the temperatures had topped 10 degrees Celsius at the summit, which was too high for the elevation. Were just extreme weather conditions to blame? What had caused such extreme heat in Europe even before summer? Have we witnessed the act of global warming?
Read the article and think about what this glacier landslide could mean to us all.