Rising temperatures are melting away one of Spain’s last glaciers

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IN RETREAT: Rising temperatures are melting the Monte Perdido Glacier.

THIS view may be gone within a matter of years.

The Monte Perdido Glacier, in the Pyrenees mountain range near the French border, is one of Spain’s last remaining glaciers.

The one kilometre long and 500 metres high glacier lies near the summit of the Vignemale mountain, one of the highest in the Pyrenees.

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The Pyrenean Institute of Ecology (CSIC) has been monitoring glacier since 2011 and data currently shows it is melting at an average rate of three centimetres a day.

Ignacio Lopez-Moreno, of the CSIC, told Spanish media the glacier and others in Southern Europe would likely be the first in the world to disappear.

“Studying them is very important because we can learn about how glaciers behave in their final phases and to what extent melting can speed up or slow down,” he said.

The glacier was once one complete mass of ice but it has to split into two parts in recent decades.

The upper area of it was almost flat in the 1950’s but now it slopes meaning snow is less likely to settle on its surface which speeds up the melting process.

Lopez-Moreno said large parts of the glacier will vanish if temperatures continue to warm at current rates.

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