Italian snow levels, glaciers retreating

Oct. 26, 2012 at 4:21 PM
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ROME, Oct. 26 (UPI) -- Climate change in Italy's mountainous areas is causing snow levels to retreat and the snow line in some areas is moving upward by 2,000 feet, researchers say.

The snow level in northern Italy's Valle D'Aosta region is at 10,800 feet above sea level, compared to 8,850 feet 30 years ago, ANSA news agency reported Friday.

The data were released Friday by the glacier observation unit of the Secure Mountain Foundation in Valle D'Aosta.

Climate change is also having an effect on the area's glaciers, researchers said, with an average retreat of around 100 feet.

Two glaciers -- the Pre de Bard near the village of Courmayeur and the Cherillon glacier near Valtournenche -- have retreated as much as 1,300 feet in recent years, ANSA reported.

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