Switzerland
Aletsch Glacier
August 18, 2007


                                                                                                                                                           Photo: Spencer Tunick


An emergency provokes extreme responses: human beings in danger will abandon social niceties, etiquette, and the norms of acceptable behaviour to raise an alarm any way they can when lives are in danger. Today, six hundred people shed their clothes on a glacier in the Swiss Alps to bodily cry out for help against a planetary emergency: global warming.

If global warming continues at its current rate, most glaciers in Switzerland will completely disappear by 2080, leaving nothing but valleys and slopes strewn with rock debris. Over the last 150 years, alpine glaciers have reduced in size by approximately one third of their surface and half of their mass, and this melting is accelerating. The Aletsch Glacier retreated 115 meters (377 feet) in a single year from 2005 to 2006.

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