Carlo Danioth, in charge of the slopes at the Andermatt resort in central Switzerland, said the Gurschen glacier was to be partially covered with 3000 square metres (32,300 square feet) of PVC foam from the beginning of May.

Confirming a report in the weekly SonntagsZeitung newspaper, Danioth said the aim was to halt the melting of the glacier, a phenomenon that has been attributed to global climate warming.



“If the trial is a success, we’ll wrap the other part of the glacier too,” he said.



He added that the ice-field was receding by some five metres per year.



The cost of the PCV covering, which is to be left in place during the summer season when skiers do not frequent the resort, was some 30 Swiss francs ($21.62) per square metre, he said.



The initial heat shield for the glacier would therefore cost some 100,000 Swiss francs ($108,125).



A study published last year by Zurich University estimated that the country’s glaciers have lost around a fifth of their surface area over the past 15 years. The study, carried out using satellite data, also found that the rate of ice-loss was accelerating.



A number of other Swiss ski resorts are reported to be considering similar measures.



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