Global Warming Is Destabilizing Mountain Slopes, Creating Landslide Risks

This article discusses how Global Warming Is Destabilizing Mountain Slopes, Creating Landslide Risks. As more permafrost thaws and water seeps deeper into mountains crags, extreme storms can trigger dangerous landslides and rockfalls.

It’s not just the atmosphere and the oceans that are heating up. An ever-denser blanket of greenhouse gases is also sending warmer air and water deeper into the planet’s rocky bones.

In the mountains of Switzerland, scientists have measured startling temperature increases, with jumps of as much as half a degree Celsius in just a decade 20 feet deep into the rocks. On Svalbard, an Arctic island north of Norway, similar warming has been measured more than 100 feet deep in the permafrost.

Tracking these changes is critical to assessing growing threats to people, said Bjørn Samset, research director at the CICERO climate research center in Oslo.

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