December 20, 2006
The photo above shows the receding Weissee Glacier in the Austrian Alps. The recession of this glacier as well as many others in the Alps, a result primarily of regional warming, has becomes clearly visible in the past decade or so. Standing in front of the glacier, one can easily detect how much of this glacier has already vanished. Crevasses several meters wide have recently opened up in the ablation zone of the Weissee. Parts of the remaining glacier are regularly skied upon, marring the remnants of this once impressive ice mass. Glaciologists have estimated that since the middle of the 19th century, approximately half the volume of Europe's alpine glaciers has disappeared.