Snow at Austrian Alps melting earlier than ever before
The peak at Sonnblick in the Austrian Alps is melting more than a month ahead of the previous record time.
The snow at the world's highest observatory, which is open all year, is likely to melt entirely in the next few days, the earliest period on record.
Scientists at the Sonnblick observatory in the Austrian Central Alps, 10,190 feet above sea level, were startled and disappointed to see the snow disappearing so rapidly.
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Some years, the top is completely covered with snow during the summer. However, it melted more than a month ahead of the previous record time of 13 August in 1963 and 2003.
According to climatologist Alexander Orlik, “The snow depth today was 3cm. I expect it to be completely gone by today or the day after. It is not usual for the snow to melt completely down. In some years the snow cover is there the whole summer. But the earliest it has before is August.”
Dramatic news from the Alps:Mount Sonnblick in Austria (3100m) hosts the mountain observatory with the longest and most reliable climatic data.Seasonal snow has never melted earlier than 13 August (1963 and 2003),today the snow depth is 9cm and it'll probably be gone by tomorrow pic.twitter.com/prZIrB4GQl— Extreme Temperatures Around The World (@extremetemps) July 3, 2022
Throughout June, snow levels were at their lowest since records started in 1938.
Orlik added that “on 30 June, the snow depth on Sonnblick was 39cm. The previous lowest snow depth in June was 120cm, in 1942. On average in June, there is 307cm of snow at the end of the month. Last year in June, the minimum snow depth was 362cm.”
The observatory provides the snow level and other statistics every 10 minutes. The readings are influenced by rainfall. But the gradual decreasing trend is obvious, and the snow was down to a handful of millimeters as of Tuesday.
Sonnblick was created in 1886 to let scientists investigate the upper regions of the atmosphere. Since then, meteorologists have utilized it to forecast the weather, and it houses the mountain observatory with the longest and most dependable climatic data.
Because of Europe's rising environment, which has resulted in searing heatwaves, most of the snow and ice on the mountains has melted very quickly.
This caused a fatal incident this week on Italy's Marmolada mountain when at least seven people were killed after a glacier collapsed, producing an avalanche.
Scientists attributed the calamity to the climate problem since the ice had deteriorated owing to the prolonged heat.