To prevent the Presena glacier in Northern Italy from melting due to global warming, a group of conservationists has begun the process of laying vast tarpaulin sheets to cover over 100,000 sq metres of the glacier.
Since 1993, the Presena glacier has lost more than one-third of its volume. Every year, the six-week process of laying the sheets is repeated after the ski season is over and summer begins in full force, reported AFP.
"This area is continuously shrinking, so we cover as much of it as possible," Carosello Tonale head Davide Panizza told AFP.
The team has begun to unroll the long protective fabric strips between Lombardy and Trentino Alto Adige regions, at an altitude of around 2,700-3,000 metres.
The sheets, which measure 70 metres by five metres are essentially "geotextile tarpaulins that reflect sunlight, maintaining a temperature lower than the external one, and thus preserving as much snow as possible," Panizza said.
"There are glacier cover systems similar to ours on a few Austrian glaciers, but the surface covered by the tarpaulins is much smaller," Panizza added.
The tarpaulin strips, which cost €400 (around Rs 34,091) are sewn together once they are stretched over the snow to ensure warm drafts do not get underneath. Bags of sand are then used to weigh them down.
The process of removing the protective sheets will begin in September and will take another six weeks before winter sets in.Also Read: Ahead Of Peak Dry Season Indonesia Resorts To 'Artificial Rain' To Prevent Recurrence Of Forest Fires