Even if humanity were suddenly able to stop global warming completely, the extent of ice in the European Alps would decrease by 34% by 2050. However, the trend observed over the past 20 years is likely to continue at the same rate, which It will likely be accompanied by a loss of about half of the ice volume. If we look only at developments over the past 10 years, 65% of the ice is likely to disappear.
Switzerland without snow at potential Olympics
These frightening results are provided by an international study conducted by scientists at the University of Lausanne using simulations based on artificial intelligence algorithms. “The data used to create the scenarios end in 2022, a year followed by an exceptionally hot summer. “So the situation is likely to be worse than the one we depict,” explains lead author Samuel Cook.
The study in Geophysical Research Letters It deliberately looks at the shorter period up to 2050, which should make it easier to recognize its relevance for today's generations and thus strengthen measures. In this context, researchers confirm that the disappearance of several kilometers of ice will have major impacts on population, infrastructure, and water supplies. In one press release Scientists wonder: How old will our children be in 2050? Will it still snow in 2038 when Switzerland is allowed to host the Olympics?
Study thanks to machine learning
In their study, the researchers also used deep learning methods to train the model on physics concepts and fed it real climate and ice data. “Machine learning is revolutionizing the integration of complex data into our models,” said co-author Guillaume Gauvet, professor at FGSE and co-author of the study. “This fundamental step, which was previously notoriously complex and computationally expensive, is now much more accurate and efficient.”
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