Climate change continues to leave its indelible mark on the Alps. Mont Blanc, the highest peak in Western Europe, was measured in mid-September at 4,807.81 m, down one meter from the last readings, expert surveyors said on Wednesday (September 29th). of Haute-Savoie.
A team of around thirty people went to the roof of Europe in mid-September to carry out surveys for three days, said experts from Haute-Savoie, who both carry out this kind of measurement. years for twenty years. The 2021 expedition benefited from very favorable weather conditions, they congratulated each other. “Now it’s up to climatologists, glaciologists and other scientists to use all the data collected and put forward all the hypotheses to explain this phenomenon”, they point out. The objective of regular measurements is “To model the ice cap (…), to constitute and maintain a bank of precise and reliable data which can be used by experts (glaciologists, climatologists, etc.) and above all transmitted to future generations ”, they explain.
” Eternal snow “
The last measurement made public, in 2017, reported an altitude of 4,808.72 m, itself down compared to those of previous years. The highest altitude was recorded in 2007 (4 810.90 m).
In reality, the numbers vary from time to time, as the top is “Covered with a layer of “eternal snow” which functions like a huge snowdrift and varies according to altitude winds and precipitation ”. “Thus, since the dawn of time, the altitude of Mont Blanc has fluctuated continuously. “ The top “Rocky” culminates for its part “At 4,792 m”, underline the surveyors.
The measurement carried out in 2019 had been held “Secret” because “Exceptionally low” (4,806.03 m) and “To be taken with a lot of tweezers”, they reveal. Decision had been taken at the time of“Wait for the 2021 measure for more educational and scientific explanations”.