| ||On the Vallée Blanche, in the Mont-Blanc Massif, skiers can hire the services of a guide and experience an unforgettable descent, nearly 12.5 miles (20 km) long. More than 80,000 people every year are seduced by this route, which starts at the Aiguille du Midi (accessible by cable car) at 12,598 feet (3,842 m), follows the Vallée Blanche, and continues along the Tacul and Mer de Glace glaciers. Depending on the snow conditions, it is sometimes possible to go as far as Chamonix. But, over the decades, the glacier has tended to recede. The front of the Mer de Glace, which has receded by 1.25 miles (2 km) since 1820 with a 32.9 °F (0.5 °C) rise in temperature, may yet settle at an altitude of 5,902 feet (1,800 m) in 2050, having lost another 1.86 miles (3 km) of its present length. Climatologists are forecasting a rise of between 37.4 and 42.8 °F (3 and 6 °C) over the coming century. The development of renewable energy sources and techniques of energy conservation, as well as reduced use of private cars—especially in cities—would mean a reduction in emissions of the gases that are causing climate change.
Visit the YAB Gallery for books and signed prints