Dozens of people took part in a ‘funeral service’ this weekend in memory of a glacier lost to climate change in the Swiss Alps.
The Pizol glacier, in the Glarus Alps of northeastern Switzerland, has shrunk to just a fraction of its original size. The glacier has lost 80% of its volume since 2006, a trend accelerated by rising global temperatures according to scientists.
The Pizol has diminished to such an extent, “from a scientific perspective it is no longer a glacier”, Alessandra Degiacomi, a Swiss climate campaigner, told AFP news agency. Now just a few frozen lumps, the glacier was ‘declared dead’ at the ceremony on Sunday.
Locals, hikers, and environmental campaigners dressed in traditional funeral attire to trek up the mountain and pay their respects to the glacier’s remnants, in an event organized by the Swiss Association for Climate Protection (SACP). At the ceremony, sombre speeches were to be delivered by a chaplain and scientists and a wreath was to be laid in remembrance of the glacier.
A similar ceremony was held in Iceland last month to commemorate Okjokull, a 700-year-old glacier declared dead in 2014.