A study made public by Switzerland's Federal Office of the Environment states that, due to phenomena such as climate change and global warming, the Alpine landscapes in this part of the world are undergoing severe transformations.
More precisely, most of the glaciers in these regions are to soon be turned into lakes, and only the ones located at very high altitudes are to still be around by the end of the 21st century.
The researchers who looked into this issue explain that, under current environmental conditions, Alpine glaciers tend to lose 2-3% of their total surface area and volume on a yearly basis, and that most of the time their shrinking as a result of ever increasing temperatures translates into the formation of new mountain lakes.
The aforementioned report informs us that scientific evidence suggests that as many as 500-600 new basins stand to be created by melting glaciers, and quite a lot of them could eventually turn into lakes.
Some of these lakes could reach the depth of 100 meters, and accommodate about 10 million cubic meters of water.
One other research carried out as part of the National Research Programme "Sustainable Water Management shows that, although it may be true that these newly-formed lakes could help generate green energy provided that their hydropower capacities are properly managed, the fact remains that communities living nearby will live under constant threat as rock or ice avalanches could occur at any time.
Specialists explain that, for the time being at least, glaciers perform the task of supporting slopes and keeping various ecosystems well in place. Therefore, once they disappear, it is quite likely that avalanches will occur on a regular basis.
This threat is to remain present regardless of whether or not humans intervene in order to erect dams and other similar types of infrastructure in order to collect hydropower and use it to generate electricity.
Lastly, the official website for the Alpha Galileo Foundation
also explains that significant issues are quite likely to emerge with respect to who will own these lakes and who will assume responsibility for managing them, especially if tourism is to flourish around these new landscapes.