Another four glaciers threatened by melting
Glacier death has accelerated this summer – record temperatures in spring, a hot summer and then the Sarah dust afflicted the glaciers. The dark brown sand film on the ice surface absorbed more of the sunlight’s energy, accelerating the melt.
In addition to the northern Schneeferner and the Höllentalferner on the Zugspitze, the Watzmanngletscher and the Blaueis are now the last German glaciers. Both are in the Berchtesgaden Alps, although the Watzmann glacier is already a shaky candidate in the official count: there is still ice, but it is hardly moving, which is a core feature of glaciers in science.
Only Höllentalferner is likely to survive longer
The only glacier in the Bavarian Alps that could live longer than 10 to 15 years is the Höllentalferner on the north side of the Zugspitze. It lies in the shade and gets a lot of avalanche snow in winter.
Glaciers are large masses of mainly snow, firn and ice, which mostly flow slowly from mountains towards the valley. Only masses that move at least in essential parts are called glaciers. Most of the glaciers that exist today were formed during the last ice age, around 15,000 years ago.
With material from dpa