Italy Covered with Branches to Protect Its Glaciers from Melting

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An aerial photo taken on June 19, 2020 shows workers covering with huge geotextile sheets the Presena glacier (2700m-3000m) on the Val di Sole near Pellizzano in Trentino, northern Italy, in order to delay snow melting on skiing slopes. (Photo by MIGUEL MEDINA / AFP)

Rising temperatures due to global warming threaten glacier masses in our world. Continuing to work on the subject, Italy has taken an interesting way to protect the glacier masses in its country. The giant tarpaulins laid on the ice mass aim to reduce the melting of the snow to some extent.

In our world, where global warming is increasing, we need to take precautions against things that are disappearing. It is necessary to protect the ice of the Alp from the sun at this time when the temperatures are at the peak with the arrival of summer. Italy’s solution on the subject is very interesting.

In northern Italy, the Presena glacier has lost more than a third of its volume since 1993. The guards use white tarpaulins that prevent the sun rays from melting the ice when the ski season ends and the ropeways are lifted into warehouses.

Italy lays tarpaulins to save ice from melting

Davide Panizza, 34, who heads the Carosello-Tonale company dealing with conservation business, said, “This area is constantly shrinking, so we take care to cover everything we can.” Covering an area of ​​30,000 square meters with the team that started the project in 2008, the company can cover 100,000 square meters today.

According to AFP, the tarpaulins covered with glaciers are geotextile material, reflect sunlight and can maintain a lower temperature from the outside. Thus, they protect as much snow as possible from global warming. Workers laying a tarpaulin at the border between Lombardy and the Trentino Alto Adige regions are doing this at an altitude of 2700 – 3000 m. The workers, who lay the foothills of the mountain in long strips, try to protect the snow from sunlight.

The team, acting in a messy way to stretch the coverings well, sew them so that they don’t slip in the heat. He places sand bags that will serve as anchors so that they do not fly in strong winds. Giant tarpaulins, measuring 70 m x 5 m, become almost indistinguishable from the snow beneath it because of their white color.

Giant tarpaulins made in Austria have 450 price tags. The team completes the work of laying the tarpaulins completely in 6 weeks and spends another 6 weeks to remove it before the winter season begins. “When we lift them in September and see that the tarpaulins are doing their job, we are proud of what we did,” said Franco Del Pero, who led the operation.

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