10th Nov 2020
Gigantic white tarpaulins are being used to combat global warming and preserve glaciers and ski slopes for the next tourist season.
At the Presena Glacier in Northern Italy tarps are rolled out over the ski slopes to cover a staggering 100,000 square kilometres of the Alpine mountains! The minute ski season is over and the cable cars are deserted and mothballed conservationists set to work on the massive project.
The Glacier has lost over a 3 rd of its total volume since 1993. The new kind of tarps are now a vital weapon in the fight to preserve these natural wonders. They’ve been specially developed to be more effective than previous coverings, helping not only to protect the natural environment, but also the tourist industry economy so vital to local residents. The particular tarps used are geotextile tarpaulins that are more effective at reflecting sunlight and maintaining a lower temp underneath than exists outside of the tarps.
“This area is continuously shrinking, so we cover as much of it as possible” says head of the project Davide Panizza. The area of prime pristine ski slopes covered has increased from around 30,000 sq. metres in 2008 to 100,000 today in 2020. It’s a major operation as it takes over 6 weeks for the team to apply the strips of 70 x 5m tarp over the entire area and 6 weeks to remove them again.
This vital work is preserving the environment and ensuring the resort will remain for visitors to enjoy for many generations to come.