Melting Ice Blurs Borders and Freezes Relations
Borders in this part of Europe haven’t changed since 1861. But as temperatures rise and glaciers melt, Switzerland and Italy are working to redraw their shared frontier in the Alps to account for the changing topography of the mountain, The Independent reports.
Experts from both countries will sit down to decide on possible borderline shifts that can stretch by up to 100 meters, though the update will not affect populated areas. The new demarcation will address changes in the mountain’s surface that date back to at least 20 years ago. The shrinking of the Alpine glaciers, including snow zones around the famous Matterhorn mountain, has been particularly noticeable since 2003.
While The Independent points to the damage of global warming on the world’s mountains, New Scientist takes the border issue as an illustration of the consequences that changing water resources might have on interstate relations. Flashpoints — such as the Kashmir region between India and Pakistan, the North Pole, and the South Patagonian ice fields in Argentina and Chile –- have all caused international disputes over ownership of precious water.
Sources: The Independent, New Scientist.
, a Bulgaria native, is a Chicago-based reporter for Circle of Blue. She co-writes The Stream, a daily digest of international water news trends.
Interests: Europe, China, Environmental Policy, International Security.
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