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Rising Temps, Falling Rocks

Scientists in Switzerland believe that at any moment 5 million tons of rock will crash down one of that country's most famous mountains. The Eiger, renowned as a magnificent peak, has recently been crumbling in the extreme heat of this year's summer.

A giant rock slab, which experts describe as twice the size of the Empire State building in volume, is breaking away from the mountainside at a rate of 35 inches a day. Since first being noticed at the beginning of June, a fissure in the rock face has grown from 8 inches to more than 16 feet.

Though climate change may be at least partially responsible for the break, Switzerland has experienced similar massive rock-falls throughout the centuries. Still, higher than usual temperatures are quickly melting the Grindewald glacier, which has been supporting the rock to date.

The imminent rock-fall is attracting many more sightseers to the Eiger than usual. Onlookers can anticipate quite a display once the large chunk breaks off. The sound of the crash is expected to be deafening, and the surrounding area will feel like it's experiencing an earthquake.

Source: Science Daily

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