When an alarm rings out – such as the melting glaciers – it would be far better for us to adapt and find solutions in order to secure our future instead of focusing on the sound of the alarm !
The melting glaciers are not inherently catastrophic for nature, as diverse plants and animals will replace the formerly icy areas.
However, this radical change in the landscape is a major warning for humankind. A profound climatic imbalance is appearing before our eyes. And as our civilization is largely responsible for this shift, we are refusing to deal with the situation and change our deep-seated habits.
With this in mind, we met with Luc Moreau, a French glaciologist whose expertise is only matched by his passion for passing on his knowledge.
What role does a glaciologist such as yourself play in the French Alps?
We need to understand what is essential for us and for life in general, to ensure that the world has drinkable water and breathable air. We need to understand natural dangers, but also those we have created without realizing.
With natural elements such as the glaciers (cornerstones of the water cycle as they are sources for rivers) we require vast measurements to understand their reactions to the climate. This is because each glacier and mountain range – whether Alpine, polar, or tropical – reacts differently to climate change!
We are now starting to accumulate sufficient quantities of measurements. We therefore know how they react, how they were before, and we can use models to predict how they will react in the short term!
Why have you worked with the Fondation Eau, Neige et Glace for the last nine years?
The very least we need is an excellent quality of water and an awareness of how to manage it and use it correctly while learning how to return it, clean, into the environment as liquid or vapor. More and more of us are using it in all of its forms, whether in industry, the economy, or manufactured projects. And we have to introduce good habits from the very start. Especially as the Alps are the main water source in Europe and tens of millions of people are using it! Given these factors, I naturally said yes when the Fondation and its director Serge Martinot called on my services!
What predictable effects will the melting glaciers have on human activity?
The problems linked to the supply and quality of water! There are already many challenges across the world caused by our growing population which sound the alarm. But climate change and the disappearance of small glaciers in the Andes are also issues, while the melting ice caps and rising sea levels are a concern for Greenland (although the fishing industry is happy!).
We need to introduce a major overhaul of the economy, animal agriculture, alpine farming, and tourism…
We seem incapable of stopping the glaciers from melting, so what can we individually do to alarm everybody?
It is important to understand nature and how it works, while limiting the effects on water sources before they occur!
If we want to develop our awareness, we have to remain close to nature as our lives depend on it. We should work on local initiatives, reduce transportation, and above all purify the air and water we use because we use it again immediately afterwards. And remember, polluted vital resources are not renewable!
As a conclusion, what is the key information to remember?
That everything on Earth is connected! We therefore have to become more aware of our daily actions, and inform our elected officials at all levels as they are not paying enough attention to scientific logic or to the nature that supports our very existence…