Home    What's new    Search    Contact Us   Sign in / Register
· You are here: Home • Our work • Schools and education » • School Members Area » • Landscape processes »
About us Our work What's on Geography today Press & Media News Join us
Royal Geographical Society (with IBG): the heart of geography
Antarctic Glaciers: Pine Island
Can GIS help to conserve fossils on the Jurassic Coast?
Climate change is melting glaciers
Coastal erosion: Britains Atlantis and 1000 years of cliff retreat
Coastal surges and flooding in the UK: a prompt for more sustainable drainage?
Dam downstream disaster
Delta blues
Ethiopian dam threatens Lake Turkana
Glacial retreat: Historical evidence of climate change in Mongolia
Ice Odyssey
Ice sheet - PVC glaciers
It's only water: who cares?
Physical Geography and Facebook
Regime change
Reservoir dogs future water supply
Sink or swim?
Sinkholes: A geophysical hazard
Water, water, everywhere
Why did the Azure Window collapse and how can we preserve coastal heritage?

Ice sheet - PVC glaciers

May 2006

Why are scientists wrapping glaciers in plastic?

Ice sheet - PVC glaciers

Europe's Alps could lose three-quarters of their glaciers to climate change during the coming century.

That is the conclusion of new research from the World Glacier Monitoring Service (WGMS) in Zurich. BBC - 'Major melt' for Alpine glaciers

In an experiment to find a way of reducing melt rate, scientists last year, covered 3,000 square metres of the Gurschen glacier with a half-inch thick PVC coating.

The Swiss glacier has been retreating at an alarming rate in recent decades. It was hoped that the plastic covering will reflect more of the sun’s rays, thereby reducing the rate at which the ice mass melts and recedes.

In nature, thick gravel coatings have the same effect, and scientists were hoping to copy this process.

However, while this may help reduce the rate of ice melting in Switzerland, can anything be done on a larger scale to stop the loss of Antarctic ice?

And if the plan failed, what is the future for Europe’s skiing industry?

Relevance

This feature will have particular appeal for A-level candidates who are studying climate change, glaciation or tourism (all boards); as well as wilderness environments or the geography of sport & leisure (Edexcel B).

In the Members' Area:

  • What is the Gurschen plan to cover a glacier in plastic?
  • Does it work?
  • Why do glaciers advance and retreat?
  • What is the Antarctic problem?
  • A troubled future for snow sports?
  • Can the UK skiing industry survive climate change?
  • AS and A-level essay assignment titles and exam tips

Sign in to read the full article. If you are not already a member you can join us as a School Member or Young Geographer and access our vast library of educational articles.

   

· Accessibility statement
· Terms and Conditions, and Cookie use
· Contact Webmaster
· Download Adobe Reader
· RGS-IBG is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Bookmark and Share