The Calderone glacier in central Italy is the southernmost in Europe, a title it risks losing within 10-20 years given the accelerated pace of its melting, experts say.
Located in a valley of the Gran Sasso, a massif of the Appennine chain in the Abruzzo region, the Calderone glacier began to disintegrate some twenty years ago, a phenomenon that has accelerated over the years in due to rising temperatures due to global warming.
It had nevertheless become the southernmost glacier of the continent after the melting of that of Corral del Veleta in the Spanish Sierra Nevada at the beginning of the 20th century.
“It is the southernmost glacier in Europe and that is why it is an icon and a symbol, but now it is shrinking like the skin of grief”, sadly observes Massimo Frezzotti, a specialist in glaciers, in a interview with AFPTV.
“We estimate that it could disappear in the next 10 to 20 years”, estimates Massimo Frezzotti, president of the Italian commission for the study of glaciers.
“The duration of ablation periods (process of disappearance of ice or snow on the surface of a glacier, Editor’s note) has become longer and longer, precipitation has remained constant but snowfall has decreased, and well of course the mass of the glacier has diminished more and more, ”he summarizes.
Massimo Pecci, a member of his working group, has been studying the Calderone for 25 years: “Since 2000, we have witnessed a gradual reduction in its thickness and surface area, as well as its fragmentation into smaller glaciers,” observes he does.
Global warming caused by human activities, including the use of fossil fuels, has caused the average temperature on the Earth’s surface to rise 1.1 degrees from the mid-19th century.
Most of this increase has occurred over the past 50 years.
“We don’t know how this story will end (…) Hopefully it will not end! »Wants to believe Massimo Pecci.