What is the purpose of cover the mountains in Switzerland?

What is the purpose of cover the mountains in Switzerland?

An unusual phenomenon today can be noticed on the Swiss mountains: some parts of them are covered not only with snow, but also with white fleece blankets. And the area of the covered slopes is huge – at least 100 thousand square meters! Covering such an area is a very expensive and labor-intensive business. It takes several months for one mountain, but for the Swiss it is important.

So why in Switzerland are the mountains covered with fleece blankets?

It’s all about global warming. The Swiss are forced to cover the slopes of many mountains (including Titlis in the Alps) with blankets in order to delay the melting of glaciers at ski resorts and thus delay the economic catastrophe of the region.

What is the purpose of cover the mountains in Switzerland?

Global warming affects many glaciers around the world, but the Alps seem to have been the most affected. For example, due to the increase in average air temperature, Mount Titlis has lost almost half of its snow each year, and it used to be that even on the hottest days of summer it did not melt.

According to scientists, if the greenhouse effect on Earth will continue to grow, the snow cover will disappear from the Swiss mountains in the next 50 years. So far, there are about 1,500 glaciers in Switzerland, but 90% of them will probably melt by this century.

Mount Titlis is one of the main attractions in Switzerland. It has the highest suspension bridge in Europe and popular ski resorts. It brings in up to 5.65 billion dollars a year, which contributes significantly to the country’s budget. Therefore, in addition to environmental problems, Switzerland may face huge financial losses.

What is the purpose of cover the mountains in Switzerland?

Why they use blankets?

There are several ways to preserve glaciers. However, the Swiss government missed the moment and has already admitted that it was too late. They should have started saving the snow cover years ago. Now scientists are actively trying to remedy the situation and slow down the melting of glaciers.

To do this, they came up with the idea of covering the most vulnerable parts of the mountain with white fleece blankets in the summertime. In the photo below you can see how this unusual and at the same time creative solution looks like.

What is the purpose of cover the mountains in Switzerland?

The dense fabric of these mountain blankets reflects the hot sunlight very well and insulates the snow cover. It makes the snow melt much slower.

Here’s what one ski resort employee Gian Darms said:

“We cover the glaciers with fleece because it serves as a shield for them from sunlight. It took us about six weeks to cover the mountains. During that time we spread the synthetic fabric over an area of 100,000 square meters, the size of 14 soccer fields. The light-reflective fleece keeps the glaciers warm and will help preserve more of the snow that fell last winter”.

Of course, it is impossible to cover all the ice in this way, but this method gives results. In the future, perhaps scientists will come up with something better, but for now it is the only option to protect the glaciers.

Darms agrees with this:

“In recent years, we have had to continually increase the fleece-covered area to preserve what snow and ice that have left on the alpine peaks”.

What is the purpose of cover the mountains in Switzerland?

In conclusion, many people today are seriously concerned about global warming. Researchers from various countries have concluded that ice is melting much faster than it used to. The world is losing 31 percent more ice and snow than it did 15 years ago. For example, the rate of melting between 2015 and 2020 has become 71 billion tons per year faster than in the 2000s and 2005s.


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