Europe has seen nothing short of a scorching summer. A heat wave aptly named “Lucifer” has struck metropolitan and rural areas, pushing tourists and locals alike to seek coastal breezes and rivers to dunk in. Temperatures repeatedly surpassed the triple-digit mark, causing transportation stalls, wildfires, and a lot of glacial meltdown.
I had to watch the drone footage from Ruptly three times before I actually realized what was happening. At first I was deceived by the sweeping lines, as they resemble what a glacier should look like. But then I realized that those black streaks were actually bare granite, and the ice that should have been coating the rock was far-between.
Only a few stacks of snow remain at 9,800 feet, on what was once an Italian summer ski area in called Stelvio Pass.
“The Stelvio Pass is located in the municipality of Bormio and marks the border with the province of Bolzano. From the pass starts a cable car leading to the ski slopes of Livrio, summer paradise for skiers who can ski even in summer” –Passo Stelvio
This rapid melting comes as no surprise, as the National and Atmospheric Association (NOAA) has declared that 2016 was the hottest year on record. Combine these constant elevated temperatures with a catastrophic heat wave, and you will see glaciers retreat right before your eyes.