Thursday, March 26, 2009

Italy And Switzerland Forced By Climate To Redraw Their Borders

The changes will be minute, in fact no Swiss or Italians will have to suddenly switch their nationalities. However, the changes to the border has everything to do with our rapidly changing planet. Global warming is altering the face of the Earth and when it comes to man-made markers of nationality and territory, those are no match for mother nature. Italy and Switzerland are seeing that first hand at their common border in the melting Alps.

From CNN:

The Italian Military Geographic Institute says climate change is responsible for the Alpine glaciers melting.

"This draft law is born out the necessity to revise and verify the frontiers given the changes in climate and atmosphere," Narducci said. "The 1941 convention between Italy and Switzerland established as criteria [for border revisions] the ridge [crest] of the glaciers. Following the withdrawal of the glaciers in the Alps, a new criterion has been proposed so that the new border coincides with the rock."

What was a part of the landscape seventy years ago is no more. Now this may not seem to make a big difference to the Italians and Swiss who live in cities far away or to any of us here in the States. However, it is just one sign out of many that we are drastically altering the planet with the carbon-loving lifestyle that we all enjoy. If we do not cut it out soon, melting glaciers in the Alps will be insignificant to the water wars, flooding and many other problems the future holds for us.