Glaciers in Italy Covered With Giant White Sheets to Check Melting

By: | June 22nd, 2020

Image courtesy Wikimedia Commons

Glaciers are like a protective cover over the Earth and our oceans. Glaciers reflect excess heat back into space and keep our Earth cooler.

Worldwide rapid melting of glaciers is influencing ocean currents, weather patterns and is resulting in rise of sea level.

In northern Italy, the Presena glacier has lost more than one third of its volume since 1993. A team of conservationists is putting in efforts to prevent it from melting very summer. They have begun the process of laying huge reflective tarps to protect it from the heat of Sun. Every year once the ski season is over; team repeats its process of using white tarps.

Davide Panizza, head of Carosello-Tonale Company that does the work, said, “This area is continuously shrinking, so we cover as much of it as possible,”

Team started doing this work in 2008. They started it by covering the glacier with about 30,000 sq metres of tarpaulin sheets. Now the team places 100,000 sq metres under wraps.

Panizza wxplained these coverings are “geotextile tarpaulins that reflect sunlight, maintaining a temperature lower than the external one, and thus preserving as much snow as possible,”

The process is very time-taking…it takes about six weeks to install these tarps. Once summers are over, it takes them another six weeks to remove them. The tarps cost up to €400 ($450) each.

Nidhi Goyal

Nidhi is a gold medalist Post Graduate in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences.

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