Small piece of melting Italian glacier accelerates

International

Marco Belfrond holds an old photo the Plancipieux glacier, near Courmayeur, northern Italy, Thursday, Sept. 26, 2019. Italian officials sounded an alarm Wednesday over climate change due to the threat that a fast-moving melting glacier is posing to the picturesque Val Ferret valley near the Alpine town of Courmayeur. The Planpincieux glacier, which spreads 1,327 square kilometers (512 square miles) across the Grande Jorasses peak of the Mont Blanc massif, has been moving up to 50 centimeters (nearly 20 inches) a day (AP Photo/Antonio Calanni)

MILAN (AP) — An expert monitoring a fast-moving glacier on the Italian side of the Mont Blanc massif says a small section has picked up speed and could break off in the coming days.

Fabrizio Troilo, a glaciologist with the Safe Mountain Foundation, said Monday that the piece — measuring some 27,000 cubic meters (953,390 cubic feet) — is moving at 60 centimeters (23.6 inches) a day.

That is about twice as fast as a massive 250,000-cubic-meter (8,827,683-cubic feet) chunk that also risks breaking off from the Planpincieux glacier.

Troilo said the smaller piece “could collapse in the next days or week,” but that such collapses are annual events and would have no impact on the rest of the valley.

Experts say the increased melting rate has been linked to climate change.

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