The Italian Side of Mont Blanc Glacier At Risk of Collapsing Soon

Italian authorities are ordering evacuations and closing roads as it prepares for the Mont Blanc glacier to collapse.
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Mont Blanc from the Italian side fbxx/iStock

Authorities in Italy are taking action to prevent harm to human life as they warn the Italian side of the Mont Blanc glacier could collapse soon. 

According to the Safe Mountain Foundation, authorities in Italy are closing roads and ordering people living near the glacier to evacuate. The Safe Mountain Foundation wrote in an analysis published this week that 250,000 cubic meters of ice could break away from the glacier.


Mont Blanc glacier shifting as much as 24 inches a day

The officials warned it's hard to predict when it will happen but according to media reports the glacier its shifting about 20 to 24 inches per day. 

"Following the reports received from the Regional Structures and from the Fondazione Montagna Sicura - highlights the Mayor of Courmayeur, Stefano Miserocchi - there was a significant increase in the sliding speed of the Planpincieux glacier in the last period,"  said the foundation on its website. "These phenomena once again testify that the mountain is in a phase of strong change due to climatic factors, therefore it is particularly vulnerable. In this case, it is a temperate glacier particularly sensitive to high temperatures."

Mont Blanc isn't the only glacier melting 

Mont Blanc is the highest mountain in the Alps, rising 15,774 feet above sea level. The glacier, which sits between Italy and France, is a popular tourist destination for hiking, climbing, and skiing. It is not on the only glacier that is melting because of climate change. 

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Take the Himalayan mountain's glaciers for one glaring example. Since 2000, the ice loss has doubled, putting a source of drinking water for more than a billion people in jeopardy.

Over the last two decades, it has lost more than a quarter of all of its ice. Prior to 2000, scientitsts had said the glaciers fell by a little over a foot a year from 1975 to 2000. But after 2000 the rate increased to just under a foot and half. There is no evidence that this phenomenon will slow down. 

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