The giant 'Mermant' of the Alps: How Mont Blanc loses 21 centimeters every year

After days of stress at the top. Two days of exposure to precipices without a story, avalanches with all the bad milk of the world, which at the slightest neg

The giant 'Mermant' of the Alps: How Mont Blanc loses 21 centimeters every year

After days of stress at the top. Two days of exposure to precipices without a story, avalanches with all the bad milk of the world, which at the slightest neglect throw you at the gutter (and here the gutter has a height of more than 600 meters). After 48 hours he endured at the Sienes the hammering of the high level and in the guts the cramps of that inhuman height and fear, when you balance the ice edge of ice, at 4,807 meters above sea level, the truth is That matter little 91 centimeters.

Mont Blanc, the highest Summit in Western Europe, has lost almost a meter high since the last time it was measured four years ago. To be exact, it has diminished from 4,808,72 meters recorded in 2017, up to 4,807.81 current. This is the result of the recent measurements made by the team of expert French Topographers, meteorologists and high mountain guides that make exhaustive measurements of this Alpine Summit located at High Savoie for years.

The studies have also undressed the giant of his snow and ice dress, as they have determined with an unreablished accuracy that, in reality, this mountain is still lower: 4,792 meters. It is the height of its rocky top. Those 15 meters of dimension difference are occupied by a layer of perpetual ice, which covers the head of the alpine colossus and is the one that varies every season.

Ant measurers against the dimensions of the mountain, this decline does not worry the hundreds of alpinists who each year reach their summit. Yes, it is alarming if it is taken care of to its causes. The trend of the latest measurements indicates that the highlight of Mont Blanc is decreasing. It is the same geological event that affects the rest of the glaciers and masses of alpine arch. Its cause reaches global dimensions.

The phenomenon is not exclusive to the alpine chain, but it includes all the mountains that have their ice-coated peels, from the Everest to the Andean mountain ranges, of Kilimanjaro to Antarctic mountains. In the same way, it affects the masses of ice that cover some regions of the earth's surface, such as polar and the Himalayas. Its ice masses are the most affected by global warming, produced by human activity.

The data collected in 130 glaciers from all over the world by scientists from the Glaciare World Monitoring Service indicate that only in 2015 registered a thinning of 1.1 meters of average and, since 1980, all the glaciers of the world have decreased 20 meters of average .

This decrease is especially dramatic in the Alps, where 14 million people are affected by the amount and quality of the water that is born in its ice rivers. The Mer de Glace, the most important glacier of the massif of Mont Blanc and third more extensive of the Alps, is a good example of this. The measurements point out that its icy dough reculates an average of 30 meters per year. Since 1860 it has decreased two and a half kilometers and 200 meters thick. Regression that extends from the retreating moraines to the top of the alpine giant.

According to the data recorded by the Alpine Ecosystem Research Center (CREA) throughout the past 20th century in the Alpine mountain range, temperatures increased 2nd centigrade. Situation that is aggravated when contemplating the statistics of the 21st century, in which 16 of the last 17 years have been the warmest that have been registered in history.

These variations, united to the decrease in rainfall, have carried deep changes in alpine landscapes. Along with the Glacier Regression, it is necessary to point out the reduction of the níve layer on medium and high mountain. Since 1970, a decrease in the period is recorded that the snow covers the half mountain Alpina, up to 2,500 meters of altitude. In the Mont Blanc this decrease is a month with respect to that date.

The defrost of the permafrost, the superficial layer of the soil permanently frozen, is another serious consequence of serious repercussions in the alpine arch. The thaw of that layer that has remained the rock together thousands of years as if it were a glue, is carrying huge changes in the orography and landscape of the mountain range, dramatically on the Mont Blanc massif.

Converted into the laboratory of climate change, the backwardness of its glaciers and the decrease in innovation periods, this melting is attached. Since 1997, he has originated sporadic cataclysms in its mountains. The DRU is the most dramatic case. This stylized needle of 3,754 meters high has suffered successive landslides as if it were a wet sugar. Its rocky walls have come down in cloths up to 600 meters high, a hundred width and several meters of thickness. The calculations indicate that a volume greater than 350,000 cubic meters of rock has been detached from the mountain.

Scientists say that these processes will continue. Not in vain the melting of the permafrost and the regression of the ice fields have the most visible and guarded place in the Mont Blanc. According to the historical record, dating back to the 19th century, the Mount has not done anything other than decreasing its size since then. So far from the 21st century, the average reduction of its height is 21 centimeters annually, although the last years that reduction rises to a thickness close to one meter.

Updated Date: 20 October 2021, 00:20

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