Switzerland has recorded the worst snow melt rate since monitoring began over a century ago. According to an academic study conducted by an expert group at the Swiss Academy of Sciences, at least 3 cubic kilometers of ice was lost in the Alps because of low snowfall in winter and persistent heat waves in summer.
The study, released recently, concluded that more than 6 percent of the glacier volume has been lost. Last month, another study revealed that since the early 1930s, at least 1,400 glaciers in Switzerland have lost more than half their total volume.
According to media reports, many small glaciers have entirely vanished. Study results show that snow cover, which protects the glaciers from the sun, was exceptionally light this year.
In March and June, the Alps faced large amounts of Saharan dust. The contaminated snow absorbed more solar energy and melted faster. The intense summer heat further damaged the ice.