Pasterze Glacier, Grossglockner, Austria

 
Kaiser-Franz-Josefs-Höhe is named after the visit Kaiser Franz-Josef made here in 1856.  Upon arrival at the visitor center you stand directly before Austria´s tallest mountain, the Grossglockner (3,798m).  You'll have a wonderful view of the longest glacier in the eastern Alps, the Pasterze. 
 
The Pasterze Glacier has been receding since 1856.  A combination of higher summer temperatures (global warming) and lower winter snowfall is causing the retreat. The thickness of the glacier currently decreases more than 5 m each year. The length of the glacier currently decreases about 10 m (33 ft) each year. Its volume has diminished by half since the first measurements in 1851.
 
The following images show the Glacier as it is today, then as we climb the mountain side, boards show the relative position of the Glacier in the respective year.

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There is no doubt the glacier is shrinking and most believe this is mainly due to global warming.  
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For a list of Ian Cook's photography and TravelGumbo contributions, please click on this link.

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