Now that’s technology

Stand aside, Christo and Jeanne Claude! Consider this effort to save a glacier.

A Swiss ski resort worried about global warming’s ill effects on its future is taking matters into its own mittened hands. At the ski season’s end in May, the Andermatt resort will cover some 32,200 square feet of the Gurschen glacier with an insulating PVC foam in hopes of keeping its black diamonds from melting into bunny slopes. The foam, which costs some $84,000 and can be stored during winter for reuse, was constructed by Swiss technicians to protect the snow layer from heat, ultraviolet rays, and rain. The country’s glaciers have lost about a fifth of their surface area in the last 15 years, according to a Zurich University study linking the loss to global warming, and the ice field above Andermatt is retreating by about 16 feet a year, a resort spokesperson says. If the PVC-foam trial is successful, the resort plans to cover more of the glacier, and other resorts may also get in on the doggy-bagging technique. [emphasis added]

Also see the Telegraph article, Glacier goes under wraps .

World Wide Fund for Nature points out the irony in this approach, that

although the use of petroleum for PVC production is comparatively more moderate than in other types of plastic, PVC production implies the use of chlorine, with toxic by-products and dioxin emissions that represent a huge environmental and health hazard.

2 Responses to “Now that’s technology”

  1. Hannah says:

    Right, like the PVC producting is just exacerbating the problem…perhaps we need
    a better solution to climate change then…rather than a “quick fix”

  2. Jean-Sebastien says:

    When I told that to my swiss housemate after reading the blog, she thought I was joking
    and did not believe me until the next day when she red the news from a swiss website.
    She told me that the melting of glacier was starting to be a big issue in Switzerland, but
    agreed with Hannah that we need a better solution rather than a “quick fix”. She was also
    a bit worried about the color of this PVC.