France’s highest mountain, Mont Blanc is shrinking! The tallest mountain in the Alps is currently at its lowest height in recent memory. It has shrunk by 2.2m in 2021 and now stands at 4,805.59 m. This is a cause for concern. But why is Mont Blanc shrinking? Read on to find out.
Mont Blanc Shrinks By Over 2m Since 2021
According to a report by The Guardian, a team of surveyors from the Haute-Savoie regional administration measured Mont Blanc with the help of a drone. The mountain which is capped by a ridge of ice has undergone a drastic transformation over the years.
It now stands at 4,805.59 m, 2.2 m shorter than its recorded height in 2021. 3,500 cubic meters of snow and ice in comparison to 2021. France’s highest mountain lost the amount of snow and ice that’s roughly the volume of a swimming pool.
What Are The Reasons For Its Decline?
Scientists studying the mountain’s height are making special efforts to find out the reasons for the decline of the mountain’s height. Jean des Garets, the Chief geometer comments that the reason for the shrinkage could be due to the reduced rainfall in the summer months. It’s also attributed to human-induced climate change as not just Mont Blanc but other glaciers in Europe are shrinking.
Recently, glaciers in Switzerland faced their second-biggest annual loss, which experts clearly say is a symptom of global warming. A report by BBC states that 20 people climbed the highest mountain in the Western Alps to carry out the measurements. Nicknamed, “the Roof of Europe”, around 20,000 to 30,000 mountaineers flock to the mountain every year.
So, it comes as a big concern to know that Mont Blanc is shrinking rapidly. Due to human-induced climate change heatwaves are even more frequent and intense. The world has warmed up by 1.1 °C and unless countries across the world take clear steps to cut down on emissions, the temperatures will keep rising.
If The Mountain Can Shrink, Can It Also Grow?
The Chief surveyor for the Haute-Savoie department, Jean des Garets stated in a media briefing that all is not lost. He announced that Mont Blanc could be much taller in 2 years. In his opinion, the reason it’s at its lowest height is due to low precipitation in summer. This has been observed in the past. He further told people not to use the height measurement to make any old claims as it could grow.
Jean des Garets further adds that their job as surveyors is to gather data for future generations. It’s not up to them to interpret. So, he says it’s best to leave this to the scientists. Meanwhile, researchers have been measuring the peak every two years since 2001 to understand the impact of climate change on Mont Blanc.
With the decrease in the height of the French Alp does it also come as a wake-up call for the Himalayan glaciers in India?
Cover Image Courtesy: Canva
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