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  • Writer's pictureBruce Smith

That's hot!

I just returned from 10 days hiking in the Swiss Alps, a dream trip to the Zermatt and Jungfrau regions. Of course, the scenery was spectacular, but a primary reason for going was to view the glaciers. The Alps have been warming as fast as any place on Earth, other than the polar regions. In the attached photo, we were hiking over rock and rubble where there had been meters-thick glacial ice just 30 years ago. The retreating glacier is on the right.

It was so hot on the day of my midday departure flight from Zurich, passengers were on the plane for 3 hours before the flight was cancelled. Because the ambient temperature was rising so fast (mid-90s), our payload continued to exceed guidelines for take-off, even as additional payload was removed at the gate and the pilot burned off excess fuel to lighten the aircraft. In 25 years as a commercial pilot, the captain said that had never happened to her before.

Yes, there may be something to this climate change phenomenon.


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