Funeral held for ‘dead’ glacier in Switzerland

Bern: At least 250 people hiked up to the Pizol Glacier in the Glarus Alps to hold a funeral for the ice sheet which is disappearing due to global warming.

“Pizol glacier has disappeared. There will be some snow left, but the glacier is no more,” CNN quoted Matthias Huss, a glacier specialist at ETH Zurich university as saying.

Since 2006, the Swiss glacier has lost 80 to 90 per cent of its volume. It spans about 26,000 square meters now, which is less than four football fields.

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“There are several small pieces of ice lying around, but these pieces are increasingly being covered by rock debris from the mountain. But given what is left of it, we will no longer term it a glacier in scientific terms,” Huss also said.

Pizol is at an altitude of about 2,700 metres in the Alps and will be the first to be struck off the Swiss glacier surveillance network, the specialist added.
The funeral march was organised by the Swiss Association for Climate Protection on Sunday and also saw a local priest give a speech in memory of the melting mass of ice.

“80 per cent of the glaciers in Switzerland are more or less the same size as Pizol,” Alessandra Degiacomi, the coordinator of the organisation said.
“If Pizol goes, this is a warning sign. This is what is going to happen if we don’t change something about our behaviour,” Degiacomi also added.

The organisation has been able to obtain 12,000 signatures to launch an initiative which would demand the Swiss government to bring its greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2050.

“We want to have a CO2 neutral Switzerland from 2050…We want to decarbonise the country,” Degiacomi further told CNN.

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