The highest peak in France, Mont Blanc, has reportedly experienced an unanticipated fluctuation in height in recent years. At 4,805.59 meters, the mountain’s peak is currently 2.22 meters lower than it was in 2021 when it was last measured.
Researchers who frequently measure the mountain’s height have been keeping an eye on this decrease in order to better understand how climate change is affecting the Alps. Chief geometer Jean des Garets explained the occurrence by speculating that the shrinking might be caused by less rainfall in the summer.
The way that Mont Blanc’s position and height fluctuate is one of its fascinating features. It has demonstrated fluctuations of up to 5 m over time. Because of the mountain’s dynamic nature, scientists have speculated—and Mr. des Garets has—that the peak might regain height in the years to come.
On the other hand, scientists disagree about how quickly this height loss is occurring; some calculate an annual loss of about 13 cm.
According to reports, a team from the Haute-Savoie regional administration carried out the most recent assessment that identified these changes, using a drone to help with measurements. The peak of the mountain was measured in 2021 at 4,807.81 m, which is almost one meter lower than in 2017. One of the surveyors who was engaged, Denis Borel, said that Mont Blanc had lost almost 3,500 cubic meters of ice and snow in comparison to the volume that was recorded in 2021—roughly the equivalent of an Olympic swimming pool. In comparison to observations from earlier eras, this loss is noticeably large.
Notwithstanding these results, meteorologists advise against directly linking the melting of glacial ice in the Alps to the reduction in the peak of Mont Blanc. They stress that at this high altitude of 4,800 meters, it would take about 50 years of regular observations to make any firm connections to possible global warming.
It is also a complicated phenomenon to study because variations in the ice cover at the summit can be caused by wind and precipitation, among other things.