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Southern Schneeferner: Germany has melted a glacier


Now there are only four glaciers left in Bavaria: Due to the massive loss of ice, the Südliche Schneeferner loses its status as a glacier. Experts give the remaining ice there another one to two years.

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Snow on the Southern Schneeferner in August 2021: The glacier has lost its status

Photo: Angelika Warmuth / dpa

Germany has lost a glacier: In the summer of 2022, the severe ice loss on the southern Schneeferner in the Bavarian Alps progressed so much that it is now losing its official status as a glacier, as announced by the Bavarian Academy of Sciences in Munich.

This means that there are only four glaciers in Germany that are also threatened by melting.

New georadar measurements from mid-September showed the great extent of the loss on the southern Schneeferner, the scientists said.

The thickness of the ice decreased significantly in large areas and is no longer even two meters in most places.

Even at its deepest point, the ice is now less than six meters thick, compared to around ten meters in 2018. "This suggests that the remaining ice will melt completely within the next one to two years," they say from the scientists.

At the same time, the glacier area has halved to less than one hectare since 2018.

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The ice on the other four glaciers in Germany – the northern Schneeferner and Höllentalferner on the Zugspitze, as well as the Blaueis and Watzmanngletscher in the Berchtesgaden Alps – continued to melt this summer.

Glaciers are large masses of mainly snow, firn and ice, which mostly flow slowly from mountains towards the valley.

Most of the glaciers that exist today were formed during the last ice age, around 15,000 years ago.

According to the academy, due to the low ice thickness, no more ice movement can be expected, so that the southern Schneeferner is no longer considered an independent glacier.

The long-term measurements on the southern Schneeferner are therefore discontinued.

Such measurements were first made in 1892.

They have been repeated regularly since the middle of the 20th century to record changes in Bavarian glaciers.


Source: spiegel

All tech articles on 2022-09-26

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