27 Sep 2022, 14:25
Benjamin Wehrmann

Summer heat waves caused Germany to lose one of its five remaining glaciers


Scientists in Germany have declared the Southern Schneeferner in Bavaria can no longer be classed as a glacier due to rapid ice loss over the summer, when much of Europe was hit by recurring heat waves, local broadcaster BR reports. The Bavarian Academy of Sciences said that the ice sheet has shrunk by half over the last four years and is less than two metres thick in some parts. The sheet can no longer slide downhill so cannot be classed as a glacier, and it is likely to melt away entirely within the next two years. The announcement means that Germany now has just four glaciers left. Only one of them – the Höllentalferner on the north side of the Zugspitze – is expected to last longer than 10-15 years.

The heat waves sweeping across Europe one year after deadly floods killed hundreds of people in Germany and neighbouring countries caused a string of forest fires across the continent and put the effects of climate change back into the focus of public debate.

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