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France urges action on alpine climate change
Sunday September 27, 2015 - Email this article to a friend

On a visit to a glacier above Chamonix the French Prime Minister calls for people to mobilise against the vanishing glaciers and warming temperatures.

Manuel Valls was speaking from the Mer de Glace (Sea of Ice) as his visited the area to highlight the impact of global warming.

France will host the UN global summit on climate change at the end of this year in Paris.

"The Mer de Glace reveals the extent of climate change, and, to the naked eye. The time has come to mobilise," said Prime Minister Vall.

The glaciers in the Alps have had a bad summer this year.

High temperatures and little snowfall have led to a lgenerally poor summer ski season.

Here at PlanetSKI we were fortunate to visiet Les2Alpes in the early summer when conditions were good; see here for our story from June.

Les2Alpes, FranceLes2Alpes, France
















Les2Alpes, FranceLes2Alpes, France
















After that  conditions deteriorated and and hot weather was bad news for summer skiing as we reported here.

Serious questions are being asked about the long-term prospects of resorts like Tignes in France.

Grande Motte, 6th JulyGrande Motte glacier in Tignes, July 2015













The warming temperatures do not just mean glaciers melt but the permafrost that is the foundations for many buildings, ski lifts and other infrastructure is also affected.

The structures are anchored into the frozen layer but if it melts they will become unstable.

In addition rock falls as the ground heats up are causing much damage and threatening more.

In a recent study in the Journal of Alpine Research researchers detailed 350 rock falls from 2007 to 2014.

This compares to almost none from 1855 to 1936.

They found that of 1,769 pieces of infrastructure, including huts, ski lifts and pipelines, about 10%er cent were at high risk of rock fall damage. 

It includes the Aiguille du Midi cable car above Chamonix.

The 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference will be held in Paris  from November 30th to December 11th 2015.

See below for a series of photos taken by PlanetSKI at some of the glaciers in the summer.

Chamonix, FranceSaas-Fee, Switzerland
















Verbier, SwitzerlandVerbier, Switzerland
















Chamonix, FranceChamonix, France
















For the spirit of the mountains

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