Picture: Großglockner Hochalpenstraße
White Glacier Project
How the Swiss intend to save the ice
Summers are increasingly heating up, causing a growing number of glaciers to melt. In the past few summers, Swiss glaciers alone have lost some two percent of their volume. With this radical snow melting, increassingly more people are advocating the rescue of our glaciers.
The Chur University of Applied Sciences has been working towards this goal for a long time. Their latest idea has aroused quite some interest. The entire melting process would be slowed down or even completely stopped by recycling melted water.
Glaciers would be restored with the help of special snow guns operating in the winter which would return to the mountains the ice that melts during the summer, resulting in the water once again freezing. Swiss researches are now also breaking new ground trying to protect glacier ice from the sun with special mats.
A report on this subject is expected in approximately 10 months – leaving just enough time to equip the first test areas for the summer. The developers emphasize, however, that although the idea is undoubtedly very good, the surface of the glaciers is too large and cannot possibly be sufficiently equipped with the necessary systems. This means there is still more room for clever and, most importantly, innovative ideas.