Himalayan glaciers often get most of the media attention, in regards to the rate at which they are melting as our climate changes, but new research presented to the American Geophysical Union focuses instead on the French Alps.
According to this research, presented by BBC News, over the past 40 years French glaciers have lost 25% of their area. On Mont Blanc for example, in the early 70s glacier covered 375 square kilometers, but today only covers 275 square kilometers.That rate of decline is an average however, the research shows. In the southern part of the French Alps glacier loss has been nearly complete, and in the Ecrins Massif the rate of retreat has been three times as great as in the Mont Blanc region.
As for the differences in retreat, obvious differences in altitude of the mountains, as well as differences in weather conditions and precipitation between region.
Despite (largely manufactured) controversy about how quickly glaciers are retreating around the world's mountain regions at large, due to less-that-ideal sourcing in the last IPCC report, the US Geological Survey has concluded that the world's glaciers are in retreat and climate change is to blame.