Climate Change

French photographer finds ‘alarming’ lake high in Alps

Bryan Mestre discovered the meltwater lake at an altitude of 3,400 metres at the base of the Dent du Géant and the Aiguilles Marbrées in the Mount Blanc mountain range

 
By DTE Staff
Last Updated: Wednesday 17 July 2019
A view of the meltwater lake at an altitude of 3,400 metres high in French Alps 
Photo: Bryan Mestre/Instagram
A view of the meltwater lake at an altitude of 3,400 metres high in French Alps 
Photo: Bryan Mestre/Instagram A view of the meltwater lake at an altitude of 3,400 metres high in French Alps Photo: Bryan Mestre/Instagram

The record-breaking heatwave that struck Europe in June, melted glacial snow in the French Alps and formed an “alarming” lake, the IFL Science reported.

French mountaineer Bryan Mestre discovered the lake at an altitude of 3,400 metres in the Mount Blanc mountain range, according to the report.

It was around 10 metres by 30 metres, holding around a few thousand cubic meters of clear meltwater, it added, citing National Geographic France.

“Time to sound the alarm… Only 10 days of extreme heat were enough to collapse, melt and form a lake at the base of the Dent du Géant and the Aiguilles Marbrées,” Mestre shared in a post on Instagram, a photosharing platform.

Mestre said he took the photo on June 28 — just 10 days after fellow mountaineer Paul Todhunter captured the same area covered in snow.

“… this is the first time anything like that as ever happened… This is truly alarming (that) glaciers all over the world are melting at an exponential speed...,” Mestre said. 

“Needless to say, the lake was a real surprise. It's located in the 3,400 to 3,500-meter area. You're supposed to find ice and snow at this altitude, not liquid water. Most of the time when we stay for a day at this altitude, the water in our water bottles starts freezing,” Mestre told IFL Science.

With average temperatures more than 2 degrees Celsius above normal, temperature for June 2019 was the hottest ever recorded on Earth, according to the Eurpean Union’s Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S).

The European heatwave broke temperature records at many locations in France, Switzerland, Austria, Germany and Spain. France faced the worst of the phenomenon as the country recorded its highest-ever temperature at 45.9°C in Gallargue-le-Montueux on June 28.

This is the first time this number has been breached in the country, according to the World Meteorological Organization. The previous highest was 44.1°C during the intense heat wave of 2003 that had killed 15,000 people.

Germany recorded its highest-ever June temperature of 39.6°C on June 30, 2019. This broke June temperature records across the 243 observing stations in the country.

The intense heat stress also ignited wild fires in many regions and impacted people’s health and work efficiencies.

Subscribe to Weekly Newsletter :
Related Stories

Comments are moderated and will be published only after the site moderator’s approval. Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name. Selected comments may also be used in the ‘Letters’ section of the Down To Earth print edition.