Evolution of the surface area of four glaciers in the panorama since the beginning of measurements (Allalin:  1946, Schwarzberg:  1932, Hohlaub:  1932, Seewjinen:  1946). For a more intuitive visualisation, the surface area is calculated in the number of soccer fields which would be necessary to cover each glacier. A soccer field has an area of 7’140 m2. The red line corresponds to the total sum of soccer fields lost by all four glaciers combined.

Annual length change of five glaciers since the beginning of measurements (Piode:  1915, Fee north:  1884, Seewjinen:  2006, Schwarzberg:  1909, Allalin:  1884). Length change is measured each year as the change in location of the glacier tongue with respect to the last measurement of the glacier tongue. A positive change indicates an increase in glacier length, a negative change a decrease in length. For a more intuitive visualisation, the length is calculated in number of blue whales, which would be necessary to lay between the two points of measurement. The longest known blue whale measured 29.9 m. Taking the cumulative sum over all of these blue whales (i.e., stepwise changes in length) shows the overall evolution of the location of the glacier tongue since the beginning of measurements. The red line corresponds to the cumulative sum for all five glaciers combined.

Evolution of the surface area of four glaciers in the panorama since the beginning of measurements (Allalin:  1946, Schwarzberg:  1932, Hohlaub:  1932, Seewjinen:  1946). For a more intuitive visualisation, the surface area is calculated in the number of soccer fields which would be necessary to cover each glacier. A soccer field has an area of 7’140 m2. The red line corresponds to the total sum of soccer fields lost by all four glaciers combined.

The surface area of a glacier can be subdivided into two zones: the accumulation and the ablation area. Simply put, the accumulation area roughly covers the top third of the glacier and corresponds to the part of the glacier, where snow survives the summer and is gradually compacted by the weight of subsequent new snow. This is how it slowly turns into glacier ice. The ablation area corresponds roughly to the lower two thirds of the glacier, where winter’s snow doesn’t survive the following summer and therefor the glacier ice melts during summer. The line that separates these two zones is called the ‘equilibrium line altitude’ (ELA). When the ELA rises, a larger part of the glacier is exposed to melting and new ice is formed only in a smaller part. Overall the glacier looses ice mass when the ELA rises. The evolution of the ELA over time therefore contains useful information regarding the overall glacier ‘health’.

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Evolution of the surface area of four glaciers in the panorama since the beginning of measurements (Allalin:  1946, Schwarzberg:  1932, Hohlaub:  1932, Seewjinen:  1946). For a more intuitive visualisation, the surface area is calculated in the number of soccer fields which would be necessary to cover each glacier. A soccer field has an area of 7’140 m2. The red line corresponds to the total sum of soccer fields lost by all four glaciers combined.

Evolution of the surface area of four glaciers in the panorama since the beginning of measurements (Allalin:  1946, Schwarzberg:  1932, Hohlaub:  1932, Seewjinen:  1946). For a more intuitive visualisation, the surface area is calculated in the number of soccer fields which would be necessary to cover each glacier. A soccer field has an area of 7’140 m2. The red line corresponds to the total sum of soccer fields lost by all four glaciers combined.

Annual length change of five glaciers since the beginning of measurements (Piode:  1915, Fee north:  1884, Seewjinen:  2006, Schwarzberg:  1909, Allalin:  1884). Length change is measured each year as the change in location of the glacier tongue with respect to the last measurement of the glacier tongue. A positive change indicates an increase in glacier length, a negative change a decrease in length. For a more intuitive visualisation, the length is calculated in number of blue whales, which would be necessary to lay between the two points of measurement. The longest known blue whale measured 29.9 m. Taking the cumulative sum over all of these blue whales (i.e., stepwise changes in length) shows the overall evolution of the location of the glacier tongue since the beginning of measurements. The red line corresponds to the cumulative sum for all five glaciers combined.

The surface area of a glacier can be subdivided into two zones: the accumulation and the ablation area. Simply put, the accumulation area roughly covers the top third of the glacier and corresponds to the part of the glacier, where snow survives the summer and is gradually compacted by the weight of subsequent new snow. This is how it slowly turns into glacier ice. The ablation area corresponds roughly to the lower two thirds of the glacier, where winter’s snow doesn’t survive the following summer and therefor the glacier ice melts during summer. The line that separates these two zones is called the ‘equilibrium line altitude’ (ELA). When the ELA rises, a larger part of the glacier is exposed to melting and new ice is formed only in a smaller part. Overall the glacier looses ice mass when the ELA rises. The evolution of the ELA over time therefore contains useful information regarding the overall glacier ‘health’.

Glacier nameCountryMeasurement yearLength (km)Area (km²)Max. elevation (m)Min. elevation (m)WGMS ID
HolutriftSwitzerland20111.640.5369725705731
Strahlhorn-EastSwitzerland20091.030.55351230775448
NordendItaly19751.80.63350021001211
SesiaItaly19752.81.07400027001210
SeewjinenSwitzerland20091.841.42322827193333
AlpjerSwitzerland20111.872.17341828175736
Fee-S-IISwitzerland20094.597.33401925764589
PiodeItaly20092.2044363470619
SchwarzbergSwitzerland201705.135662680395
AllalinSwitzerland201809.6541802693394
HohlaubSwitzerland201702.13402228503332