Most of the world's mountain glaciers are retreating due to climate change, according to recent reports.
Glaciers in the European Alps are particularly vulnerable. Alpine glaciers may be melting more than they have been on record for at least 60 years, data show.
Recently, near Gletsch in the Swiss Alps, the Rhone Glacier was covered with a pure white "blanket". The Rhone Glacier is one of the oldest glaciers in the Alps. As the global climate warms, the Rhone Glacier is melting faster.
Currently, parts of the glacier are covered with a white blanket, which slows down the melting rate of the glacier.
The Matterhorn in Switzerland, a well-known ski resort in the Alps, has suspended skiing activities due to rising temperatures that may lead to insufficient snow.
The operator of the Matterhorn ski lift recently announced that skiing activities will be suspended from this month, but maintenance work on slopes and transport facilities continues.
If the weather turns cold and there is enough snow in the future, the local area will resume receiving ski team training and recreational skiing activities.
According to reports, the snowfall in the Alps last winter was less than the previous snowfall, and they have encountered two heat waves since the beginning of summer.
The temperature in the Swiss town of Zermatt near the Matterhorn was close to 30 degrees Celsius at one point. Temperatures in the Alps are rising by about 0.3 degrees Celsius every decade, about twice the global average.
The Alps are turning from white to green
The Alps, the highest and most extensive mountain range in Europe, have an average altitude of about 3,000 meters and a total area of about 220,000 square kilometers. There are 128 peaks over 4,000 meters above sea level, the highest of which is Mont Blanc with an altitude of 4,810.45 meters.
Recently, a research team led by Professor Sabine Rumpf of the University of Basel in Switzerland published a paper "From White to Green, Snow Loss and Massive Vegetation Growth in the European Alps" in the journal Science.
In the paper, the research team comprehensively analyzed the changes in Alpine vegetation in Landsat satellite images from 1984 to 2021, and they were surprised to find that in more than 77% of the observed area, the plant biomass above the tree line increased, which far exceeded expectations.
The general consensus in the scientific community is that the alpine tree line in the Alps is generally between 1800-2200 meters above sea level. Once this altitude is exceeded, the trees cannot grow anymore because the temperature is too low.
The research team's findings show that in the past 30 years, many places in the Alps that did not grow trees have also begun to grow trees.
At the same time, where there were originally trees, the trees are more concentrated and denser. If it is in an ordinary plain or rainforest, this should be considered a good thing. But the problem is that this is the Alps, the problem is different.
This unusual phenomenon is related to global warming. Due to the increase in temperature, the precipitation in the Alps has changed, which has caused the Alps to change from "white" to "green".
Many studies have also shown that one of the major causes of global warming is human activities, that is to say, it is actually related to our human activities and excessive emission of greenhouse gases.