An expert monitoring a fast-moving glacier on the Italian side of the Mont Blanc massif says a small section has picked up speed and could break off in the coming days. Melting.
Fabrizio Troilo, a glaciologist with the Safe Mountain Foundation, said Monday that the piece — measuring some 27,000 cubic meters (953,390 cubic feet) — is moving at 60 centimeters (23.6 inches) a day.
That is about twice as fast as a massive 250,000-cubic-meter (8,827,683-cubic feet) chunk that also risks breaking off from the Planpincieux glacier.
Troilo said the smaller piece “could collapse in the next days or week,” but that such collapses are annual events and would have no impact on the rest of the valley.
Hundreds of mourners gathered Sunday to commemorate the loss of yet another European glacier.
Dressed in mourning clothes, they hiked for hours in the Glarus Alps in eastern Switzerland to reach the remnants of the Pizol glacier at 2,600 meters above sea level.
The glacier has lost more than 80% of its volume since 2006.
“I have climbed up here countless times,” Matthias Huss, a glaciologist at ETH Zurich university, told the mourners. “It is like the dying of a good friend.”
Last month, About 100 people, including Iceland’s Prime Minister Katrin Jakobsdottir, held a similar ceremony for 700-year-old Okjokull, the first Icelandic glacier lost to climate change.
“We can’t save the Pizol glacier anymore. … Let’s do everything we can, so that we can show our children and grandchildren a glacier here in Switzerland a hundred years from now,” Huss told the gathering.
His call came just two days after millions around the world went on a strike for climate change, inspired by 16-year-old Swedish activist Greta Thunberg.
The funeral was organized by the activist group Swiss Association for Climate Protection which has collected more than 100,000 signatures to launch an initiative demanding the country reduce its greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2050.