The meaning of “recognize”

In our quest to make you aware of the cryosphere (i.e. all the frozen parts of our planet), we at use all possible means. This includes glacier names, as the etymology of the 16 glaciers observed from Monte San Salvatore in Lugano shows. Did you know, for example, that Monte Rosa (4’634m) takes its name from a Valle d’Aosta dialect, where “rouesé” meant “glacier”? The Monte Rosa is in fact Mount Glacier!

Similarly, let’s stop for a moment to consider the meaning of the verb “to recognize”: according to the Cambridge Dictionary, it has two meanings depending on the context: to accept that something is legal, true, or important; and to know something because you have seen or experienced that thing before.

The publication last month in Nature of an excellent scientific article from ETHZ, entitled “Accelerated global glacier mass loss in the early twenty-first century”, created a worldwide media wave: from The Guardian to Der Spiegel, including Al-JazeeraCNNEl Diairo LibreLe MondeEuronewsANSASwissinfo, the BBC… This indispensable echo shows that the media accept that the situation is important—they “recognize” this development. Indeed, the researchers found glaciers to have lost almost 270 billion tonnes of ice per year over the opening two decades of the 21st Century.

At, our main aim is to make you see and experience the cryosphere in all its forms, to “recognize” it. Our many activities—the installation of yellow frames, video animations, awareness-raising seminars—are all designed to help you “recognize” the splendid frozen parts of our beautiful planet and make you want to take care of them as much as we do, as they are so crucial to the balance of our ecosystem.

The cryosphere occupies about 10% of the Earth’s surface—it’s everywhere next door! Join our cause: go outdoors, take pictures of glaciers, share them with us and your friends, and help us the magnetic magic of ice!


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