Ticino Glaciers Could Disappear in Ten Years’ Time

The Basodino Glacier at the end of the Bavona Valley is the largest glacier in Ticino.

The glaciers in Ticino have experienced a significant decline for the second consecutive year. If the glacial melt continues at the current pace, the glaciers in the southern canton could mostly disappear within the next five to ten years.

The Ticino Office for Natural Hazards, Fire, and Planning reported on Monday that the high temperatures in Ticino during the second half of August, along with the warm September and October, have contributed to a significant retreat of glaciers between late summer and early autumn.

If the glacial retreat persists at this rate, it is anticipated that only a few isolated ice areas will remain on the Ticino glaciers in the next five to ten years.

The most pronounced reduction compared to the previous year is observed in the Bresciana Glacier in 2023, shrinking by 23.2 meters compared to 18.5 meters the previous year. Additionally, the Basòdino Glacier, Valleggia Glacier, and Corno Glacier have also experienced significant declines.

Accelerated Loss of Thickness

According to the Ticino Office for Natural Hazards, Fire, and Planning, the average thickness loss of the in question glaciers has significantly increased. In comparison to previous years, the average values have doubled, particularly for the Valleggia and Corno glaciers.

For the Valleggia glacier, the thickness decreased by 5.28 meters between 2021 and 2022 and another 5.28 meters between 2022 and 2023. The thickness of the Corno glacier, as stated in the press release, was reduced by 7.04 meters from 2021 to 2023.