Energy & Environment

Hundreds gather in Switzerland to hold funeral for disappearing glacier lost to global warming

Hundreds gathered over the weekend to climb a mountain and hold a funeral for a dwindling glacier in Switzerland being lost due to the impact of climate change.

About 250 people hiked up to the glacier on Sunday and held a funeral as a priest gave a speech to commemorate the disappearing ice, according to CNN. Many in attendance were dressed in formal, black funeral attire.

CNN reports the Pizol glacier in the Glarus Alps has lost roughly 80 to 90 percent of its volume since 2006, according to Matthias Huss, a glacier specialist at ETH Zurich university.

Huss told the news outlet there are only 26,000 square meters of ice left in the glacier and it will be the first glacier in the country to be taken off the Swiss glacier surveillance network.

"Pizol glacier has disappeared. There will be some snow left, but the glacier is no more," he added. "There are several small pieces of ice lying around, but these pieces are increasingly being covered by rock debris from the mountain. But given what is left of it, we will no longer term it a glacier in scientific terms."

Alessandra Degiacomi, coordinator of the Swiss Association for Climate Protection and an organizer of the funeral Sunday, told the news outlet the Pizol glacier is representative of many others throughout Switzerland.

"80 percent of the glaciers in Switzerland are more or less the same size as Pizol," Degiacomi said. "If Pizol goes, this is a warning sign. This is what is going to happen if we don't change something about our behavior."

The event Sunday comes two months after scientists and activists in Iceland said goodbye to what is believed to be the first glacier lost to climate change.

Following a funeral for the glacier in Iceland, a plaque was placed in a rock containing a eulogy for the glacier and a warning to visitors titled, "A letter to the future."

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