[Editor’s note: No, this is not an April Fools joke I often get asked, “Hasn’t everything been mapped yet?”. Well, some things always need remapping (and this begs the question as to why don’t movie goers boycott theaters for showing the same the same Hollywood plots year after year, but whatever). The zones affected between Switzerland and Italy include the Matterhorn. Thanks Laris and Todd!]
Republished from The Independent.
Melting snow prompts border change between Switzerland and Italy
By Peter Popham in Rome
Tuesday, 24 March 2009
Global warming is dissolving the Alpine glaciers so rapidly that Italy and Switzerland have decided they must re-draw their national borders to take account of the new realities.
The border has been fixed since 1861, when Italy became a unified state. But for the past century the surface area of the “cryosphere”, the zone of glaciers, permanent snow cover and permafrost, has been shrinking steadily, with dramatic acceleration in the past five years. This is the area over which the national frontier passes and the two countries have now agreed to have their experts sit down together and hash out where it ought to run now.
Daniel Gutknecht, responsible for the co-ordination of national borders at Switzerland’s Office of Topography, said “the border is moving because of the warmer climate”, among other reasons.