Swiss residents are struggling to save their beautiful Rhône Glacier in the Swiss Alps by covering it with blankets.
Although the method might seem strange at the first sight, as we use blankets to make us feel warmer, the method has an opposite impact on the glaciers. Not only does it efficiently reflect sunlight, it also protects the glaciers from the external environment and helps them remain in their pristine state.
Why every glacier you see on Earth is wrapped in the same glacier blanket https://t.co/06cVpOLXAF— Kira Bindrim (@KiraBind) 7 марта 2018 г.
The measure was taken by locals due to drastic changes that took place in recent years: the glacier has retreated by as much as 350 meters over the last decade.
Although blankets are a rather low-tech solution to the existing crisis, some tangible benefits can still be observed. In 2015, David Folken, an expert working with the Swiss Ministry of Environmental Protection, said that blankets reduce melting by as much as 70%.
It's that time of year when the Swiss wrap their famed glacier in blankets — and hope Mother Nature NetworkThat's Not Ice Covering a Melting Swiss Glacier NewserFull coverage https://t.co/H7wR9pe3b0 #swiss #news #Switzerland— SwissOnlineDating.ch (@swissonlinedati) 8 марта 2018 г.
Currently, various initiative groups are looking for ways to slow down melting by other means as well: for example, a group from the University of Utrecht hopes to save the Morteraca glacier in Switzerland by covering it with artificial snow with a high level of light reflectance.