Glaciers are everywhere in the outdoor world. Skiing can put you on top of them, hiking can bring you next to them, and swimming in higher altitudes often has you in their chilly runoff. While they’re certainly nice to experience in an adventurous manner, glaciers serve the much more important purpose of providing water to tons of people across the world.
The glaciers of the Swiss alps, for example, are often dubbed “the water tower of Europe”, containing four times as much water as the 44 square mile Lake Lucerne. The video at the bottom of this article, which comes from Eidg. Forschungsanstalt WSL details why researching these massive frozen features is so important.
The research done by WSL allows us to understand why glaciers are melting so fast, how it affects human and other life, and what can be done to prevent further damage. Nepal, for example, was forced to relocate the Mount Everest Base Camp due to the rapid melting of the Khumbu Glacier.
While this only really affects those privileged enough to hike Mount Everest and those who rely on the tourism to the mountain as a source of income, it’s a great example of what’s to come. Destruction of existing facilities, avalanches, landslides, floods, and much more will increase as the glaciers melt, putting the outdoor activities that so much of us love at risk.
Necessary water sources are melting across the world, and while a little melt is needed to actually provide the water, too much means a significant lack of water in the near future. All together, this research is incredibly necessary, and we thank WSL for trying to share the message.
Image Credit: Eidg. Forschungsanstalt WSL on YouTube