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Department of Geography

Glaciers are retreating unabated

The volume of Swiss glaciers continues to decline in summer 2020. Although it is not an extreme year, the decline remains significant and is drastically changing the image of the Alps.


Since 1960, Swiss glaciers have lost so much water that Lake Constance could be filled with it, as reported by the Cryospheric Commission CC of the Swiss Academy of Sciences. At low altitudes, winter of 2019/20 was characterized by less snow than ever before.

Press release Swiss Academy of Sciences (SCNAT), 16.10.2020

Image: The collapse of a cave under the ice has caused the tongue of the Findel Glacier (VS) to abruptly recede and now ends in an ice wall. Here, an old measuring stake is hardly spared. (M. Huss)

The data were collected by Glacier Monitoring in Switzerland (GLAMOS), which is maintained by the Department of Geography at the University of Zurich, among others.

Weiterführende Informationen

Cryospheric Commission (CC)