Frozen Couple Unearthed By Climate Change (and a Ski Lift Company)

By Ryan F. Mandelbaum on at

It’s not often that you’ll hear someone thank climate change for something. But today, it seems to have offered some closure on a 75-year-old mystery. So, thanks climate change, at least for this.

Workers at a Swiss ski resort recently found a pair of corpses frozen in the Tsanfleuron glacier in Switzerland, according to the BBC. Some think they belong to Marcelin and Francine Dumoulin, Swiss farmers who disappeared in the area in 1942. Their bodies have eluded search efforts until now.

The couple’s youngest daughter Marceline Udry-Dumoulin, now 79, told the Swiss press that she had hoped she could one day give her parents a proper funeral. The Swiss police told Swiss media they had not yet performed a DNA test, but would do so in the next few days.

You probably don’t want to hear about climate change right now. But climatologists did tell the BBC that rising global temperatures could be partially to thank for causing the glacier to recede enough to reveal these two corpses.

And that lines up with a global pattern. “Over 90 percent of the measured alpine glaciers in the world are retreating,” according to the United States’ National Snow and Ice Data Center. You can blame a combination of rising temperatures, and increased dust from agriculture and industry for that.

There’s also plenty of anecdotal evidence to support the fact that Switzerland’s glaciers have tended to retreat this century. Back in 2013, Swiss tourists recounted stories to Phys.org about having to walk further in the 25 to 50 years they’d been visiting the Morteratsch glacier in Eastern Switzerland.

Who knows what other mysteries might be frozen beneath the alpine ice, just waiting to be revealed. [BBC]


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