By 2050 it is predicted that the majority of the glaciers in the Eastern Alps will have disappeared due to global warming. Due to a new project in Europe, some of the largest and last glaciers may disappear from the Alps sooner than expected. The project itself is called “Europe’s largest contiguous glacier ski resort”, and the expansion is huge.
The expansion is set to connect two ski resorts, Pitztal Glacier and Ötztal Glacier/Sölden. Hence the name of the resorts, they are already putting glaciers at risk. The project is set to build three new chair lifts, restaurants, bars, a tunnel just under 2,000 feet long, and snowmakers. This will require them to blast away rocks and ice found on the mountain and glacier.
Many activists have voiced their opinion on this project and are working to prevent it from happening. Patagonia has created a documentary titled “Vanishing Lines”. Which shares insights from backcountry skiers, nature conservatives, researchers who specialize in ice studies, and more activists. Nature conservative Benjamin Stern shares with us, “it would irrevocably transform an area the size of 116 soccer fields, and most of that would be on glaciers”
Glaciers seem to get overlooked when it comes to global warming and the dangers that could come if they were to disappear. One key thing about glaciers is that they contain more freshwater than all of the rivers and lakes around the world. Ultimately if they melted and disappeared, all that water would wind up in the sea. A few issues would arise, the sea level would rise, a source of drinking water would diminish, and the freshwater entering the sea could disrupt the oceanic climate that sea creatures need to survive.
Glaciers are not just a beautiful gift from nature for us to take in and enjoy. They play some vital roles in our world, and if they were to disappear one day our world would change forever. With the number of ski resorts in the world, do we need one on top of one of the few remaining glaciers in the Alps?