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Mont Blanc experiences lowest snowpack in 22 years as hot summers cause shrinkage.

The Mont Blanc Shrinks to Lowest Level in 22 Years Due to Changing Climate

Mountains are Moving: Mont Blanc Loses Two Meters in Two Years

The Mont Blanc, Western Europe’s tallest peak, has experienced a significant loss of over two meters in just two years, reaching its lowest level in over two decades. This decrease in height is a result of warmer summers, which have led to a reduction in the size of the snowpack. Researchers revealed these findings at a press conference in Chamonix, located in the French Alps.

Unprecedented Decline: A Drastic Drop in Height

A team of topographers, who regularly measure the mountain every two years, reported that the current height of Mont Blanc is 4,805.59 meters, making it 2.22 meters shorter than the previous measurement taken in September 2021, which was 4,807.81 meters. Cecile Taffin from the UNGE surveyors union explained that the top of Mont Blanc is similar to a dune, constantly shifting in height. However, this year’s decrease is particularly substantial due to the lack of rain and the scorching summer temperatures.

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A Downward Trend: Climate Change Impacting Mont Blanc

Since the introduction of precise GNSS satellite measurements in September 2001, Mont Blanc’s height has experienced fluctuations. Initially standing at 4,810.40 meters, it ranged between 4,808 and 4,810 meters until 2013, reaching a record high of 4,810.90 meters in 2007. However, since 2013, the mountain has been on a continuous downward trend. The actual height of Mont Blanc’s rocky peak is 4,792 meters, but its total height depends on the snowpack, which typically increases during the summer as rain turns into snow.

An Unusual Summer: Deviations from the Norm

This year, the decline in Mont Blanc’s snowpack has been particularly remarkable. Farouk Kadded from Leica Geosystems noted that for the first time since 2015, the snowpack in September remained almost unchanged from June, contrary to the typical one-meter increase. This anomaly can be attributed to several days of positive temperatures, including a record-breaking 10 degrees Celsius. Experts suggest that climate change specialists will provide theories to explain this phenomenon.

Precision in Measurement: GNSS Replacing Traditional Methods

Prior to the introduction of GNSS technology with its centimeter-level accuracy, scientists relied on GPS, trigonometric estimates, and barometric measurements, which had a margin of error of several meters. The use of GNSS has significantly improved the precision of measurements and allows for more accurate monitoring of Mont Blanc’s height changes.

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As the data indicates a slight downward trend, it is uncertain whether Mont Blanc will regain its lost height in the coming years. The continuous variations emphasize the impact of climate change on the world’s iconic landmarks. The shrinking Mont Blanc serves as a stark reminder of the urgent need to address global warming and its consequences.

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