Retreating Fee Glacier in Switzerland

October 17, 2013

Saas Fee 046 (2)

Photographer: Elena Gissi
Summary Author: Elena Gissi

This picture shows one of the tongues of the Fee Glacier in the Swiss Alps. Or better: it shows what remains of it after the ice retreated leaving this huge channel of stones and soil. The Fee Glacier is in the canton Valais in the south of Switzerland close to the Italian border. This spot can be reached very easily from Saas Fee (5,906 ft or 1,800 m altitude), a charming village and famous ski resort.

In Switzerland, 95 out of the 96 mapped glaciers show a reduction in their extent due primarily to changing climate. The first systematic measurements of frontal length of the Fee Glacier date back to 1883. Since then, this glacier has retreated by 3,340 ft (1,018 m). It briefly expanded in 1988. At that time, the length was only about 650 ft (198 m) less than 100 years earlier. However, since 1988 it's retreat has been continual.

Photo Details: Canon DIGITAL IXUS 870 IS; 5mm focal length; f/2.8 aperture; Exposure Time: 1/400 sec. exposure time;  ISO 80.