Alps Archives - State of the Planet

Global Review Assesses Hydropower’s Vulnerability to Climate Change

A new study analyzes the impacts of climate change and variations in water availability on the hydropower sector, a key source of cost-effective renewable energy for many countries around the world.

by |July 28, 2022
A small, picturesque town is nestled in a lush, green valley.

A Tale of Two Alpine Towns: Study Highlights How Different Tourism Strategies Influence Resilience

Fifty years of data from two towns in the Austrian Alps suggest that the community that focused solely on winter tourism was less resilient.

by |June 2, 2021
A person in a red coat stands in front of ice two times his height. The ice is covered with a white blanket.

Geotextiles Could Slow Glacial Melt, but at What Cost?

Swiss ski resorts are using geotextiles to prevent accelerated glacial melting, but researchers have found this strategy too expensive for use in global-scale glacier protection.

by |April 14, 2021
A close up of small yellow flowers on a light green, fuzzy stem.

Retreating Glaciers Threaten Herbs Used to Make Iconic Alpine Liqueurs

As glaciers recede in the Italian Alps, a shift toward grasslands is threatening native herbs like Artemisia genipi, a key ingredient in the region’s traditional liqueurs.

by |March 10, 2021
Five scientists is snow gear pull a long metal drill bit out of a chasm in a vast, white glacier.

Scientists Reconstruct the Glacial Conditions During Ötzi the Iceman’s Lifetime

New research published in Nature suggests that the Ötzal Alps experienced nearly ice-free summits during the mid-Holocene, about 6,000 years ago.

by |January 13, 2021

Is the Ski Industry Self-Destructive?

The steps that resorts in Europe took to save their ski season caused COVID-19 to spread. This behavior is remarkably parallel to how they’ve been “adapting” to climate change.

by |July 8, 2020

A New Glacier Website From the Austrian Alps

OGGM-Edu offers a variety of educational tools and materials, including interactive apps, graphics and images, adaptable notebooks, and tutorials.

by |June 11, 2020
Vernagtferner glacier

The Culture and History of Glaciers in the Alps

Why did Europe’s “cursed” glaciers begin retreating in the 1850’s even though the climate record suggests they should have advanced for another 50 years?

by |April 2, 2018

Rhone Glacier Finely Tuned to Climate Changes

By chiseling hunks of stone from recently exposed bedrock near the edge of the Rhone Glacier, scientists were able to decipher the comings and goings of the ice over the past 11,000 years. That should help predict what will happen to glaciers in the warming world to come.

by |June 3, 2011