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Rhone glacier faces rapid meltdown

By the end of the century there will be little left of the Rhone glacier in canton Valais, according to a computer simulation by researchers in Zurich and Lausanne.

Scientists at the Federal Institutes of Technology in the two cities calculated the state of the glacier from 1874 to 2100 using various data and models.

These included temperature, precipitation and glacial retreat.

Taking into account the average climate change forecast, the temperature would be 3.8 degrees Celsius higher than in 1990, while rainfall would be down by six per cent.

Under those conditions, the glacier would lose half of its volume by 2060 and in 2100 there would only be five per cent remaining.

The researchers say that the same change could happen to other glaciers in the Alps.


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