Swiss Maintain “Funeral March” To Mark The Disappearance Of Alpine Glacier

Round 250 folks together with kids joined the solemn two-hour climb up the aspect of Pizol mountain

Mels, Switzerland: 


Dozens of individuals wearing black went on a “funeral march” up a steep Swiss mountainside on Sunday to mark the disappearance of an Alpine glacier amid rising world alarm over local weather change.

Round 250 folks together with kids joined the solemn two-hour climb up the aspect of Pizol mountain in northeastern Switzerland to the foot of the quickly melting ice formation, located at an altitude of round 2,700 metres (eight,850 ft) close to the Liechtenstein and Austrian borders.


“We’re right here to bid farewell to Pizol,” Swiss glaciologist Matthias Huss stated in a sombre speech after arriving on the glacier, probably the most studied within the Alps.

Eric Petrini, the chaplain of the Mels municipality the place Pizol is situated, known as on “God’s assist to sort out the large problem of local weather change”.

The speeches had been accompanied by the mournful tones of alphorns — a three.6-metre (12-foot), pipe-shaped picket instrument. Some marchers additionally laid down flowers for the glacier.

Pizol “has misplaced a lot substance that from a scientific perspective it’s now not a glacier,” Alessandra Degiacomi, of the Swiss Affiliation for Local weather Safety, informed AFP forward of the occasion.

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Sunday’s ceremony doesn’t mark the primary disappearance of a glacier from the Swiss Alps.

Sunday’s march passed off because the UN gathered youth activists and world leaders in New York to mull the motion wanted to curb world warming.

It got here after Iceland made world headlines final month with a big ceremony and the laying of a bronze plaque to commemorate Okjokull, the island’s first glacier misplaced to local weather change.

500 Glaciers Gone

However in contrast to Iceland, Sunday’s ceremony doesn’t mark the primary disappearance of a glacier from the Swiss Alps.

“Since 1850, we estimate that greater than 500 Swiss glaciers have fully disappeared, together with 50 that had been named,” glaciologist Huss, who works on the ETH technical college in Zurich, informed AFP earlier than the march.

Pizol will not be the primary glacier to fade in Switzerland, however “you can say it’s the first to vanish that has been very totally studied.”

The logs stored since scientists started monitoring the glacier in 1893 paint a bleak image of current fast modifications to the local weather.

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Pizol, which sits at a comparatively low altitude, was by no means very huge.

Pizol has misplaced 80-90 % of its quantity simply since 2006, forsaking a mere 26,000 sq. metres (280,000 sq. ft) of ice, or “lower than 4 soccer fields,” Huss stated.

Pizol, which sits at a comparatively low altitude, was by no means very huge.

In accordance with Glacier Monitoring Switzerland, or GLAMOS, it, like practically 80 % of Swiss glaciers, has been thought of a so-called glacieret.

Greenhouse Fuel Referendum

It has figured amongst some four,000 glaciers — huge, historic reserves of ice — dotted all through the Alps, offering seasonal water to thousands and thousands and forming a few of Europe’s most beautiful landscapes.

However Huss and different ETH scientists just lately cautioned greater than 90 % of the Alpine glaciers may disappear by the top of this century if greenhouse gasoline emissions are usually not reined in.

No matter what actions people take now, the Alps will lose at the very least half of their ice mass by 2100, based on their research, printed in April.

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Sunday’s march passed off because the UN gathered youth activists and world leaders in New York

And in a subsequent research printed earlier this month, the researchers indicated that the Alps’ largest glacier, the mighty Aletsch, may fully disappear over the following eight many years.

Sunday’s “funeral” for Pizol supplies an event to level out that local weather change isn’t solely melting glaciers however is endangering “our technique of subsistence”, based on the organising teams, together with Greenpeace.

It’s threatening “human civilisation as we all know it in Switzerland and around the globe,” they warn on the occasion webpage.

With this in thoughts, the Swiss Affiliation for Local weather Safety just lately offered the 100,000 signatures wanted to launch a preferred initiative, to be put to a referendum, demanding that Switzerland scale back its web greenhouse gasoline emissions to zero by 2050.

The date for the vote has but to be set, however the Swiss authorities in August stated it supported the target.

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