Home News Glaciers, never so little snow: “Figures destined to get worse”

Glaciers, never so little snow: “Figures destined to get worse”

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Glaciers, never so little snow: “Figures destined to get worse”
The mission of the Italian Meteorological Society and the Gran Paradiso Park on the Ciardoney (photo Mercalli / Cat Berro)

Researcher Daniele Cat Berro: «We are more than a month ahead in the melting of ice». From the Orco Valley to the Valsavarenche the lowest measurements of the last decades

IVREA. On the Ciardoney, the balance has never been so negative in 31 years now. The latest mission of the team of the Italian Meteorological Society (SMI) and of the Gran Paradiso National Park Authority, which takes place on June 1st, tells the story in numbers. “But these are data destined to worsen – explains SMI researcher Daniele Cat Berro -, today the ice, which was still white at the beginning of June, is already black. Usually such a phenomenon began at the end of July. Now we have values ​​from the first half of August ».

The Sentinel of Friday 24 June in a minute

This is a very heavy balance sheet, also because the snow accumulation is no longer recoverable. «It usually ends in spring – explains Cat Berro -. And then the models already tell us that this will be a very hot summer and is confirming it ». According to the Smi report, “the snow cover on the glacier at the end of the accumulation season was exceptionally low, with snow depths decreasing from a maximum of 165 centimeters at Colle Ciardoney to a minimum of just 25 centimeters in the median sector, and an equivalent of overall water estimated at 390 millimeters, by far negative records in at least 31 years of observations, but reasonably also for much longer times ».

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The situation is the same throughout the Alps and there are few exceptions in Piedmont. The ARPA report on the state of the environment reports the data for 2021, which are however not very comforting. «Of the more than 100 glaciers surveyed in Piedmont – we read -, only 30 were visited in 2021 and only 16 of these could measure frontal variation. All the glaciers were in retreat, with the exception of the Capra and Broglio glaciers in Valle Orco, which were stationary at least from a planimetric point of view. A season of ablation that was not excessively hot allowed to limit the potentially dramatic effects of a winter season lacking in rainfall ». Already last year the retreat of the glaciers of the Orco Valley caused concern: “We report in this regard the 23 meters lost in a year by the Ciardoney Glacier (Valle Orco) and the 122 m regression of the Roccia Viva Glacier (Valle Orco) in 2 years , following the thinning of the frontal sector, up to the detachment from the feeding basin ».

On the Aosta Valley front, the situation is not improving. Here too – data from May 2022 in hand -, in Valsavarenche, for the Timurion glacier the snow accumulation value of last winter is among the lowest in the entire measurement series of 22 years, and follows only 2008. The accumulations in the past winter are 50% lower than the average of the last 22 years. Better went to the Rutor glacier (La Thuille), which benefited from Atlantic disturbances and which places the winter of 2022 “only” in sixth place for lack of mass.

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