Zugspitze gets protective sun shield blanket for summer

DDP/The Local
DDP/The Local - [email protected] • 3 Jun, 2009 Updated Wed 3 Jun 2009 09:02 CEST
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Germany's highest mountain, the Zugspitze (2,962 metres), is getting an enormous shield to protect its glacier from melting again this year, the company that runs the mountain's ski resort said on Wednesday.

The only glacier in the country, which is perched above the quaint Bavarian town of Garmisch-Partenkirchen, has been lovingly covered by Bayerische Zugspitzbahn for the last several years during the summer months, in order to protect it from sun and rain.

For the next few days, workers will cover 6,000 square metres of one of the most northerly glaciers in the Alps with special tarpaulins in an effort to combat the effects of climate change.

This year the company expects to rescue some 80,000 cubic metres of snow from melting away. In 2007, the initiative saved some 30,000 cubic metres of snow - the equivalent of a football field, one storey high.

Based on laser scans, the resort estimates the glacier has lost 40 metres in thickness the last 40 years.

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