Tag / switzerland

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  • Town Evacuates After Part of Swiss Glacier Collapses

    On Saturday, September 9, part of the Trift glacier in the Swiss Alps broke off and crashed into a glacier below it. About 220 people of Saas-Grund, a small nearby town, evacuated the area as a precaution, said local police spokesman Simon Bumann. The collapsed piece measured approximately 500,000 cubic meters. Local authorities who had been surveilling…

  • Glaciers, Geoheritage and Geotourism

    The Valais in southern Switzerland is a mountainous canton that draws tourists each year for its spectacular scenery, including some of the largest glaciers in the central Alps. From a recent article written by Emmanual Reynard in Geoheritage and Geotourism, we learn that more than half of the canton’s workforce are employed by the tourism sector.…

  • Photo Friday: Ice diving in the Alps – Glacial Lake Sassolo

    Franco Banfi is a professional underwater photographer, renowned for his spectacular images of marine wildlife, captured across every ocean on the planet. In 2010, Banfi, a Swiss national, dived into the Lago di Sassolo (Lake Sassolo) to reveal the hidden wonders of the ice mazes which form in the glacial lake at 6,560 feet (2,000 m) above…

  • Damming Switzerland’s Glaciers

    An estimated 80 percent of Switzerland’s annual water supply will be “missing” by 2100, as glaciers in the Alps retreat under rising temperatures. A recent study by Swiss and Italian researchers addresses this anticipated loss by exploring whether dams could replicate the hydrological role of glaciers. Like glaciers, the dams would contain and store meltwaters at…

  • Rocks and Rain Fix Nitrogen in Post-Glacial Sites

    A new study in Plant and Soil found that the input of nitrogen from the atmosphere, via a process of rain funneling through rocks, created levels of nitrogen that are adequate to support plant growth in post-glacial alpine soil, challenging the common view that the element is the primary limiting factor in deglaciated areas. In…

  • Bacteria From the Sahara Desert Found on Swiss Glaciers

    Bacteria living among dust particles from the Sahara have been found trapped in ice and snow on the Swiss Alps at an altitude of over 11,000 feet, according to a December article in Frontiers in Microbiology. The samplings collected from the Jungfraujoch region of Switzerland contained bacteria originally from northwest Africa, meaning these bacteria survived…

  • Helicopters: The Eye-in-the-Sky for Glacier Research

    With global warming, glaciers are melting, and mountain ranges in the mid-latitudes such as the Swiss Alps are showing significant glacier retreat. For decades researchers have measured the length and area of glaciers to see if they are shrinking or not— a key symptom of disequilibrium— which can be done using photographs and satellites. But a key…

  • Roundup: Glaciers Lose Old Timber, Gain Dust and Carbon

    Efforts to Clean Up Switzerland “A lot of infrastructure in the Alps dilapidates due to a missing use, the absence of owners or an unclear legal status. The infrastructure built in the latter half of the 20th century consists of solidified, impregnated wood, and metal. A recent survey by mountain wilderness has shown that there…

  • In an Empty Building’s Place: Wilderness and Community

    A Swiss NGO, Mountain Wilderness, has developed a solution to a problem found in many alpine regions: the abandoned buildings which result from outmigration of rural families. They designed sustainable, participatory techniques for removing the building materials and applied them to an empty farmhouse in a remote glacier valley as a demonstration project. And once…

  • A Swiss Exhibit You Can’t Miss

    Swiss Glacier Museum has stunning new “Glaciers of the World” exhibit.