On October 15th, the Cryospheric Commission (CC) of the Swiss Academy of Sciences released a research highlighting that glaciers in Switzerland have shrunk 10% in the past five years, a rate that has never been seen before in over a century of observations.
The report underlines most notably that glacier mass balance data for 2019 show marked regional variations. Particularly in eastern Switzerland and on the northern side of the Alps, losses were higher than the average for the last ten years. Conditions were however more favourable in the southern Gotthard region, thanks to heavy snowfall at the beginning and end of the winter. In the meantime, the retreat of small glaciers is persistent: more than 500 (generally unnamed) glaciers have already disappeared since around 1900.
This piece of news gained a huge resonance worldwide. Not only did more than 60 Swiss media report on it (swissinfo, SRF, RTS, RSI, Tages-Anzeiger, 20 Minutes…), but articles were also published in the US (CNN), Canada (Le Journal de Québec), Colombia (El Espectador), Peru (El Comercio), Brazil (Correiro Braziliense), China (Xinhua), India (The Hindu), Qatar (Al-Jazeera), Russia (Ryb), Great Britain (Daily Mail), France (L’Est républicain), Italy (Notizie scientifiche), Spain (Marca), Poland (Gazeta Wyborcza), Austria (Der Standart), Belgium (Het Nieuwsblad), Liechtenstein (Radio Liechtenstein)…
At Recogn.ice, we very much welcome this media echo and strongly believe that only through awareness, sensibilization and mainly recognition will we be able to really picture the link between our ever-changing cryosphere and its meaningful consequences.