Switzerland’s glaciers are undergoing a remarkable transformation, described by experts as “mind-blowing.” In just two years, 10% of their ice volume has disappeared due to a combination of reduced snowfall and rising temperatures. Data from the Swiss Commission for Cryosphere Observation reveals a 4% loss in glacier volume in 2023, following a record-breaking 6% loss in 2022. To put this in perspective, the ice loss over these two years matches that of the entire three decades between 1960 and 1990.

Matthias Huss, head of Swiss Glacier Monitoring, is greatly alarmed. He stresses that the recent rapid glacier loss is directly linked to climate change. The results are serious: glaciers are collapsing, and smaller ones are vanishing. Even in high-altitude areas, where this was less common, there’s now ice loss. These losses across the country coincide with a winter of very little snow. A hot summer caused early snowmelt. This fast glacier retreat brings instability and sad discoveries. While more water helps temporarily, as glaciers shrink, their vital role in supplying water lessens, worsening shortages during heatwaves. The future looks grim, urging immediate action. Studies suggest that even with ambitious climate goals, up to half of the world’s glaciers could be gone by the century’s end.