Roundup: Slovenian Glaciers, The Imminent Collapse of a Mont Blanc Glacier, and Mosses Provide Details of Ice Man’s Final Journey

Fresh Water Supply in Slovenia Is Shrinking With Its Glaciers

A chapter in the book Water Resources Management in Balkan Countries, published online last month, contains a chapter on fresh water resources in Slovenia, which are shrinking partly due to the ablation of the country’s only two glaciers. From the abstract:

“Slovenia is characterized by an abundance of water in a great variety of forms…The once-extensive swamps and marshes have shrunk significantly due to water regulation, and climate change has also caused the two Slovenian glaciers on Mount Triglav and Mount Skuta to shrink drastically.”

Read the chapter here.

Slovenia’s Skuta Glacier in 2014 (Source: WikiCommons).

Planpincieux Glacier Hasn’t Collapsed––Yet

In September, scientists who had spent years monitoring a massive glacier in northwestern Italy decided the opening of a new crevasse warranted the evacuation of nearby huts and roads. From Earther:

“This glacier is particularly vulnerable, Benjamin Orlove, the co-director of Columbia’s Climate and Society program and lead author on a landmark ice and oceans report, told Earther. That’s because it’s a hanging glacier left stuck to the wall of a steep valley. Another glacier used to support it from below, but that one shrank. Now, Planpincieux is left to fend for itself.”

Read the story here.

Approximately nine million cubic feet of the Planpincieux Glacier on the peak of Grandes Jorasses is in danger of imminent collapse (Source: NASA).

Clues to Ice Man’s Travels Are in the Mosses He Carried

From the introduction of the study:

“When discovered in 1991 the mummified body of a man melting out of ice high in the Alps (3,210m above sea level) was a fully justified sensation worldwide. Nothing quite like it had been found previously. Soon nick-named “Ötzi” and superbly preserved though shriveled, the man had been well clothed and shod. There was a diverse set of gear including a copper headed axe, a full set of archery equipment and a fire making kit in a belly bag. Much about Ötzi is controversial but not when he had lived which was about 5,200 to 5,300 years ago, as a large set of radiocarbon dates testify conclusively.”

Fossils of mosses and liverworts from the ice man’s body and vicinity provide details of his final journey. Read the study here.

The Ötzi site still iced up, late August 2000 (Source: Dickson, et al).

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