Italy covers melting glacier with reflective sheets

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The BBC reports that conservation workers have been covering the Presena Glacier in northern Italy with huge cloth sheets every year since 2008.

They put the sheets on at the end of the ski season and take them off again in September, ready for the cooler temperatures and winter snowfalls.

These sheets are made from a special reflective material called a "geotextile," which reflects the sun's rays to help prevent the snow underneath from melting.

The conservationists say about 70 percent of the snow can be saved over the summer by using the protective sheets.

Each sheet is five meters wide and 70 meters long, and they are sewn together and weighted in place so they don't blow away. In total they cover around 120,000 square meters of the glacier.

Covering this much of the glacier is no easy task and can take between a month and six weeks for the team to complete.

The volume of the Presena Glacier has shrunk by more than a third since 1993.

The glacier has also been plagued by algae that turns its white snow pink. The algae also absorbs sunlight and increases the risk of ice melting.

RUNDOWN SHOWS:
1. Workers pulling white cloth sheets over glacier outcrops
2. Specially adapted snowmobile transports big roll of geotextile up glacier
3. Special snowmobile on top of glacier, reversing to unroll big roll of geotextile
4. Workers pulling large sheets over glacier, stitching sheets together with machine
5. Show large section neatly covered, zoom out to show whole central part of glacier covered
6. Scientist sampling pink algae on glacier, zoom out to show pink patches on glacier

VOICEOVER (in English):
"The BBC reports that conservation workers have been covering the Presena Glacier in northern Italy with huge cloth sheets every year since 2008."

"They put the sheets on at the end of the ski season and take them off again in September, ready for the cooler temperatures and winter snowfalls."

"These sheets are made from a special reflective material called a "geotextile," which reflects the sun's rays to help prevent the snow underneath from melting."

"The conservationists say about 70 percent of the snow can be saved over the summer by using the protective sheets."

"Each sheet is five meters wide and 70 meters long, and they are sewn together and weighted in place so they don't blow away. In total they cover around 120,000 square meters of the glacier."

"Covering this much of the glacier is no easy task and can take between a month and six weeks for the team to complete."

"The volume of the Presena Glacier has shrunk by more than a third since 1993."

"The glacier has also been plagued by algae that turns its white snow pink. The algae also absorbs sunlight and increases the risk of ice melting."


SOURCES: Reuters, BBC
https://www.reuters.com/business/environment/italy-covers-shrinking-glacier-save-it-summer-heat-2021-07-01/
https://www.bbc.co.uk/newsround/57735433