Vox makes a lot of political content, but I was pleasantly surprised when I saw the video pop up in my suggested YouTube feed this morning.
The video explains how the border between Switzerland and Italy is ever-changing with melting glaciers high up in the Alps.
An Italian ski lodge called Rifugio Guide del Cervino, is in jeopardy of becoming part of Swiss territory thanks to a nearby glacier that is receding.
Vox does a great job explaining this phenomenon. It’s well worth the less than 5 minutes it takes to watch this video. Enjoy!
Vox: “How a ski lodge became trapped in a border dispute.
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Italy’s land border cuts through the highest altitudes of the Alps — crossing snowfields, mountain peaks, and massive glaciers. For centuries, the watershed line (which marks the divide where water flows either north or south off of the mountains) served as a natural boundary between Italy and its European neighbors. But beginning in the 1980s, geographic surveyors noticed something: The glaciers whose peaks had long marked the watershed line were retreating … and moving Italy’s border along with them.
The only inhabited place nearby — an Italian ski lodge called the Rifugio Guide del Cervino — was caught right in the middle. Since then, Italy, Switzerland, and Austria have piloted a new kind of “mobile border” agreement, where boundary lines move with the changing landscape. Their solution might prove crucial as climate change reshapes water-based borders around the world.
Correction: the watershed line at 00:41 was mislabeled and drawn incorrectly. We’ve fixed the error to reflect the correct watershed boundaries.”