Mont Blanc Glacier is at the brink of collapse

Nikita Wozniak ‘20, Circulation Manager

On Sept. 25, CNN released an article regarding the possible collapse of the Mont Blanc Glacier, a massive area of ice located in France. Italian authorities are ordering evacuation along the Italian side of Mont Blanc, saying that the glacier could collapse at any time.

Approximately 8.8 million cubic feet of the glacier are presumed to break and fall within a year. Since it is impossible to determine the exact day of the collapse, experts say that the glacier was shifting at a speed of 20 to 24 inches a day in August and September, and it continues to do so.

Stefano Miserocchi, mayor of nearby Courmayeur, Italy, said in a statement, “These phenomena once again show that the mountain is going through a phase of strong change due to climatic factors, therefore it is particularly vulnerable. In this case, it is a temperate glacier particularly sensitive to high temperatures.” Miserocchi ordered the roads to be closed off in the Val Ferret Valley and for people to evacuate the mountain huts in the Rochefort area.

Mont Blanc is Western Europe’s highest mountain range and is the most popular with hikers, climbers, and skiers. Although the glacier collapse would not threaten residential areas or tourist facilities, Miserocchi still orders precautionary measures to take place.

“It is now news that a glacier on Mont Blanc risks collapsing; It’s an alarm that cannot leave us indifferent. It must shake us all and mobilize us,” Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, in a speech on climate change to the United Nations General Assembly, said.

As global temperatures increase, more events such as this will occur. Tourist sites, cities, and homes will be destroyed or become inhabitable. Without awareness or precautionary actions taking place, the Earth will continue to diminish and eventually be insupportable of life. Change needs to happen soon before it is too late. 

Photo courtesy of NY Times

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