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Presena Glacier Covered with Tarps

  • 22 Jun 2020
  • 2 min read

Why in News

Giant sheets of tarpaulin (tarps) are being used to cover Presena glacier in northern Italy to slow melting caused by global warming.

  • It is a part of the conservation project (undertaken by Italian firm Carosello-Tonale) which was launched in 2008 — at that point only 30,000 sq metres of the glacier was covered.

Key Points

  • Covering of the Glacier:
    • Tarpaulin sheets (tarps) are being laid over 1,00,000 sq metres of the Presena glacier.
      • Rs. 34,091 tarpaulin sheets will be sewn together once they are stretched over the snow to keep warm air out. Bags of sand are used to weigh them down.
    • This six-week process is repeated every year once the ski season is over and summer begins in full force.
      • A ski season is a period when skiing, snowboarding and other alpine sports are viable in an alpine resort.
    • The process of removing the protective tarps will begin in September, and will take six months.
  • Tarpaulin Sheets:
    • Tarpaulin is a large sheet of strong, flexible and water-resistant material, often coated and made of plastics such as polyethylene.
    • Geotextile tarpaulins reflect sunlight, maintain a temperature lower than the external one, and thus preserve as much snow as possible.
    • There are similar glacier cover systems on a few Austrian glaciers, but the surface covered by the tarpaulins is much smaller.
  • Concern:
    • Since 1993, the Presena glacier has lost more than one third of its volume.
    • The area is continuously shrinking, so the efforts are made towards covering the area as much as possible.

Presena Glacier

  • Situated between the regions of Trentino and Lombardy in Northern Italy, the glacier is part of the Presanella mountain (Alps) group.
  • It has a high altitude natural environment.

Source: IE

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