GENEVA, Oct. 15 (Xinhua) -- During the summer heatwaves of 2019, Switzerland's glacier melt rates reached record levels, leading to another year of major losses of ice volume, the Cryospheric Commission of the Swiss Academy of Sciences said on Tuesday.
In a press release issued Tuesday, the Swiss Academy of Sciences said that Switzerland's glaciers have shrunk by 10 percent over the past five years.
According to the Academy, during the two week-long periods of intense heat at the end of June and the end of July this year, the volume of snow and ice melting on Swiss glaciers within just 15 days was equivalent to the country's total annual consumption of drinking water.
As a result, the thick snow layer rapidly disappeared, and the strong melt persisted until the beginning of September.
"This means that, over the past 12 months, around 2 percent of Switzerland's total glacier volume has been lost. Altogether, over the past five years, the loss exceeds 10 percent - a rate of decline never previously observed in the time series extending back for more than a century," the press release added.