The task of the CC is to observe the changes of the alpine cryosphere. Furthermore, supervises all long-term cryospheric monitoring networks of Switzerland.more

Image: NASA Earth Observatory, Jesse Allen and Robert Simmonmore

Portrait of CC

The Cryospheric Commission (CC) monitoring networks was founded in 1893 as the glacier commission and is integrated within the Swiss Academy of Science (SCNAT) more precise within the Platform Geosciences. In relation to the changes caused by the incipient climate change it is the Commission’s task to observe the changes of the alpine cryosphere. Furthermore it is in charge of the supervision of all long-term national cryospheric monitoring networks. The commission works in close cooperation with the Swiss Snow, Ice and Permafrost Society (SIP).

Ausblick auf Alphubel, Rimpfischhorn, und Strahlhorn mit Adler- und Findelengletscher
Ausblick auf Alphubel, Rimpfischhorn, und Strahlhorn mit Adler- und FindelengletscherImage: Martin Hoelzle

Snow and ice embody fundamental environmental factors for the human being (climate, water supply, natural hazards, education and economy etc.). This is why the process of observing the alpine cryosphere is an important component within the overall monitoring of climate-related changes. Thanks to a resolution – which was requested by the Department of Home Affairs- of the Swiss Federal Council in 2008 it has been possible to safeguard the funding of long-term measurement series. Switzerland’s significant position in global climate observation is strengthened by this sustainable long-term funding back-up for various measuring series (especially of glaciers and permafrost). The funding is assured by the Global Climate Observing System (GCOS), MeteoSchweiz, the Federal Office for the Environment and the Swiss Academy of Sciences as well as the participating Universities and institutes for scientific research.

Events, News, Publications

Messung des spezifischen elektrischen Bodenwiderstandes am Stockhorn (VS, 3'400 m ü. M.)
Nur oberflächliche Abkühlung für den Schweizer Permafrost

Die langjährigen Permafrostmessungen in den Schweizer Alpen zeigen für das hydrologische Jahr 2021 je nach Tiefe ein unterschiedliches Bild: Die kühleren Witterungsbedingungen führten zu einer Abnahme der Temperaturen nahe der

Image: C. Mollaret
Permafrost-Messstationen auf dem Stockhorn-Plateau oberhalb Zermatt (3400 m ü.M., VS)
Der Permafrost in der Schweiz erwärmt sich zunehmend

Der Erwärmungstrend der letzten zwei Jahrzehnte im Permafrost in den Schweizer Alpen setzt sich auch im hydrologischen Jahr 2019/2020 fort und verstärkt sich. Dies zeigen mehr als 20 Jahre Messungen

Image: Andreas Hasler
The collapse of a cave under the ice has caused the tongue of the Findel Glacier (VS) to abruptly recede and now ends in an ice wall. Here, an old measuring stake is hardly spared.
Glaciers are retreating unabated

The volume of Swiss glaciers continues to decline in summer 2020. Although it is not an extreme year, the decline remains significant and is drastically changing the image of the

Image: M. Huss