Municipal officials issued the order after surveyors observed a significant increase in the sliding speed of the Planpincieux glacier, which rests on the Italian side of the Grand Jorasses peak. But officials say the glacier's precarious status was the result of a climate emergency that had already begun, and over which an global group of scientists sounded yet another alarm this week.
"There is a problem with a part of the Planpincieux glacier located at Val Ferret, which is thought to be falling due to a large fracture between the, say, stable part of the glacier and this part", the mayor of Courmayeur, Stefano Miserocchi, told AFP.
A vast glacier pinned to the side of one of the massif's mountains is rapidly melting due to the climate crisis and risks collapse.
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Miserocchi ordered the closure of roads in the Val Ferret valley and the evacuation of mountain huts in the Rochefort area, as precautionary measures.
"It is an alarm that we can not be indifferent to", he said.
The mayor was meeting with residents and homeowners to hear their concerns.
A new special report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change said Wednesday that glaciers around the world, outside of Greenland and Antarctica but including Europe, are losing 220 billion metric tons of ice a year.
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"This glacier is atypical because it's temperate, and so is influenced by the temperature of the water flowing below, which particularly exposes it to the global warming in progress", said the foundation's secretary-general Jean Pierre Fosson.
A examine by Swiss researchers launched earlier this month urged that the Aletsch glacier - the most important within the Alps - may disappear utterly by the tip of the century if nothing is completed to fight local weather change. He noted that the freezing line of 32 degrees Fahrenheit rose above the top of Mont Blanc this summer, "which very rarely has happened". In August, a similar event was held at a glacier in Iceland.
Over the last 10 years, Switzerland has lost 15% of its glacier volume, with almost 3% loss in 2017-2018 alone, Huss said. Under a stronger global warming model, the researchers, based in Switzerland, projected that the Alps's glaciers would disappear nearly entirely by 2100. "If we continue as we did, then there is no rescue for the glaciers in the Alps".
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