Climbers Roped Together Ascend the Mountain

Climbers traverse slopes to reach Austria's second highest mountain peak while tourists take a cable car to view Brunnenkogel Ferner.  The Alpine glaciers -- in Austria, Switzerland, France and Italy -- are losing one percent of their mass every year and, even supposing no acceleration in that rate, will have all but disappeared by the end of the century.<br />
More hot, dry summers like that of 2003 in Europe, when the loss speeded to five percent, could cut the life expectancy to no more than 50 years, according to Wilfried Haeberli of the University of Zurich. "We estimate that by the end of the 21st century, with a medium-type climate scenario, about five percent of what existed in the 1970s will have survived, he added.