As summer heat sets in throughout the Alps, workers at the Andermatt ski resort
in Switzerland have taken an unusual step to protect the glacier that sustains
the tops of the ski runs. They wrapped about 3,000 square meters of Gurschen
glacier with a layer of plastic foil that is designed to reflect heat and radiation
from the sun, preventing the glacier from absorbing as much heat and thus slowing
the melt, according to the May 12 The Times of London.
Over the past 15 years, Swiss glaciers have lost about one-fifth of their surface area and are expected to lose another 50 percent in the next 30 years, Zurich University scientists told The Times. Previously, ski-lift companies have supported wrapping glaciers on four Austrian slopes. Environmentalists decry the tactic, suggesting instead that people should take on the causes of the melting, rather than just treating the symptoms year after year.
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