Climatologists in Italy used a huge tarp to save the Presena Glacier in northern Lombardy from melting. The glacier has lost over 30% of its volume since 1993. To remedy the situation, in 2008, researchers began to cover the glacier with a tarp for the summer period.
Scientists who are involved in the project said that every summer, specialists have to cover more and more of the glacier with tarpaulin. In 2021, in anticipation of the season, they deployed 5-meter strips with a length of 70 meters. The goal is to cover 120,000 m² of the glacier’s surface. It took a month to complete this work.
The Presena Glacier is a ski resort, so specialists have to wait until the end of the season. According to local Italian media reports, the material is made from geotextile tarpaulins that reflect sunlight, keep temperatures lower than outside, and thus retain as much snow as possible. The tarpaulin, located at an altitude of 3000 meters, is laid annually.
It is carefully placed on the mountain and sewn up to prevent hot air from entering. It is then covered with sandbags to restrict movement. To someone looking from afar, the sheets look like snow.
The authors of the project note that their efforts are indeed slowing down the melting of the glacier, saving it.