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Europe's Tallest Peak, Mont Blanc, Loses Over Two Meters in Height in Two Years

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Photo: Europe's Tallest Peak, Mont Blanc, Loses Over Two Meters in Height in Two Years. Source: Freepik
Photo: Europe's Tallest Peak, Mont Blanc, Loses Over Two Meters in Height in Two Years. Source: Freepik

The height of Mont Blanc, which stands as the highest mountain in the European continent, has decreased by over two meters since its last measurement in 2021, as reported by BFMTV. Geodesy experts from Upper Savoy announced that in 2023, Mont Blanc's height measured 4,805.59 meters, which is 2.22 meters lower than during the last measurement two years ago. This measurement was conducted in mid-September.

Armed with high-precision instruments and equipped with a drone for the first time, around twenty individuals, divided into eight rope teams, ascended the mountain to conduct precise measurements on its summit over several days. This marks the twelfth operation aimed at modeling the glacier cap and collecting scientific data on the impact of climate change on the Alpine mountains, according to the participants in this initiative. The program itself was initiated in 2001 by the Chamber of Certified Geodesists of Upper Savoy.

In the scientists' report, it is noted that the mountain's height may fluctuate due to the quantity of summer precipitation. This was elaborated upon by Jean de Gare, the president of the Geodetic Chamber of Upper Savoy, during a press briefing in Chamonix. He also cautioned that Mont Blanc might regain its height in two years.

Considering the accelerated melting of glaciers due to global warming, especially in the Alpine arc, one of the team members, Denis Borel, urged against jumping to conclusions, as measurements have only been conducted since 2001. He emphasized that it is now up to scientists and climatologists to use all collected data and develop hypotheses to explain this phenomenon.

Furthermore, scientists note that Mont Blanc's height can vary depending on the season, as it is a "dune complex" where winter winds blow snow more forcefully than in the summer. Therefore, the peak is higher at the end of the summer season than in the spring.

In 2021, the height of the "roof of the Alps" was measured at 4,807.81 meters, almost a meter lower than in 2017 (the very low measurement in 2019 was not published as it was considered unrepresentative). Conversely, the highest height (4,810.90 meters) was recorded in 2007.

According to the latest data gathered by scientists, European glaciers, particularly vulnerable due to their low elevation, lost approximately one-third of their volume between 2000 and 2020. Additionally, Swiss glaciers lost 10% of their volume over two years.

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