The study of glaciers is called Glaciology and taken from the Latin meaning 'frost ice'. Wikipedia defines glaciers as"an extended mass of ice formed from snow falling and accumulating over a long period of time; glaciers move very slowly, either descending from high mountains, as in valley glaciers, or moving outward from centres of accumulation".
Stretching over 23 kilometres, the Aletsch Glacier in canton Valais is the longest in Europe, measuring 1.5 kilometres wide on average and 900 metres at its thickest point.
A train ride from Lauterbrunnen up to Jungfrau Joch will give you this most spectacular view.
From its source in the Jungfrau mountain region at over 4,000 metres, the glacier flows down the valley at speeds of up to 200m a year. But in recent times it has also been beating a major retreat.
Up here at 2,333 metres, you cannot hear the steady drip of melting ice down below. But over the years the cumulative effect has been devastating.
“Over the past 40 years, the end of the glacier has shrunk by 1,300 metres,” explains Laudo Albrecht, director of Pro Natura’s Aletsch Centre, located near Riederalp in the heart of the Aletsch region. “But it’s not just shorter; it’s also 200m thinner.” see https://www.pronatura-aletsch.ch/de
Over the next 50-100 years Switzerland could face a three-degree Celsius temperature increase due to climate change. Researchers believe that alpine plants could face not only warmer temperatures, but also deadly competition from unfamiliar species. Fortunately, no notable changes had been witnessed so far.
Where dreams begin for outdoor adventures in the inspiring Jungfrau region