Avalanche defences, Switzerland

Avalanche defences, Switzerland

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Credit: MICHAEL SZOENYI/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Avalanche defences (horizontal dark lines) on a mountainside above the Swiss alpine village of Pontresina. The barriers are designed to reduce the strength of avalanches. They also protect against other types of debris fall, such as rockslides. These have become more common as global warming has raised temperatures, which has melted some of the permafrost that stabilises soil and other material on the slopes.

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Keywords: alpine, alps, avalanche defence, avalanches, barrier, barriers, climate change, cold, defences, earth science, europe, european, evening, fence, fences, frozen, geographical, geography, global warming, ice, icy, mountain, mountains, pontresina, protection, protective, sciences, snow, sunlit, switzerland

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