Switzerland – Sometimes, global warming can help put money in your pocket.
Hansruedi Burgener has welcomed up to 800 people a day — twice the average number of visitors — to his remote mountain hostel in the Alps this summer.
They all hope to watch a rock the size of two Empire State Buildings collapse onto the canyon floor nearly 700 feet below, as retreating glacier ice robs a cliff face on the eastern edge of the Eiger Mountain of its main support.
As if that’s not bad enough:
The spectacle is a dramatic reminder that the Alps have been hit hard by warming temperatures, and underscore warnings from scientists that thawing permafrost — the frozen soil that can glue mountains together — will cause more havoc in the future.
Glaciers in the Alps may have lost up to a tenth of their volume in the hot 2003 summer alone, researchers at Zurich university have said, and the ice now only occupies between half and a third of its volume in 1850.
A further increase in temperatures of only 3 degrees Celsius could make another 80 percent of glacier ice disappear by the end of the century, their study warned, threatening farmers, villages and tourists.
Thanks to Think Progress for the tip.