After the IRGC conference in Zürich concluded, I had a free day and decided to take a tour bus trip up to the top of Mount Titlis, a "glacier paradise at 10,000 feet offering a snow and ice experience on the highest viewpoint in central Switzerland."
Although the top of the mountain was covered with clouds on the day I was there and offered only limited views, the ride up -- by bus and then by cable car -- was magnificent.
While riding a chairlift across the face of the glacier, I had a chance to speak with one of the workers there. Now in his 30s, he said he had been coming to the mountain since he was a boy. I asked him if he had noticed any indication that the glacier was retreating. He answered emphatically yes, and estimated that it was now 100 meters shorter than in his youth.
That's quite a bit of shrinkage, and although this is only anecdotal evidence, it's certainly consistent with the growing scientific findings about the measurable -- and potentially disastrous -- loss of Alpine glaciers.
Though some complain that this is not an issue of relevance for a nanotechnology blog, we'll keep pointing out the consequences of rampant global warming as an example of a major problem that molecular manufacturing might help to alleviate...or might exacerbate.