Bavarian Landscapes (Zugspitze: 9,718 ft)


"Man kann viel, wenn man sich nur recht viel zutraut."

-Alexander von Humboldt-

The Alps are an extensive arc-shaped mountain range that spread over Central Europe. The most prominent Western European physiographic regions are 1000km long and between 120 and 250km wide. During the Alpine orogeny some 44 million years ago, they emerged due to the African and European tectonic plates collision.  They are formed of seafloor since they arose of an ocean, called Tethys Ocean.

Germany's highest peak

They were further modeled by Alpine glaciation and expanding ice tongues. Only a tiny portion of the Alps extend from Austria into southern Germany, namely the Allgäuer Alps in the west, the Wetterstein Alps, and the Berchtesgadener Alps in the east. They are folded mountains (similar to the Rocky Mountains).The Zugspitze, part of the Wetterstein Alps, is with an elevation of 2962 meters, Germany's highest mountain. The region is popular for Tourism and winter sports.

Germany's remaining glaciers

CCO: Maddl79, Höllentalferner
CCO: Maddl79, Höllentalferner

There are only five remaining glaciers left in Germany. Glaciers can only be found in high mountain regions. They are in the alpine mountains a tourist attraction and therefore also a source of revenue. Glacial ice originates under the compression of snow over a longer period. Fresh snow is compressed to firn (corn snow) during one winter. Under specific climatic terms, the firn won't melt, and a new layer of snow covers the older one. Firn is further compressed to hard bluish and greenish glimmering ice, called a glacier.

Germany's last glaciers are melted down to small remaining spaces. The real threats of climate change can be witnessed here. Forecasts show that only the Höllentalferner may survive within the next decades due to global warming. Ground samples prove that environmental toxins are enclosed in many glaciers. A further increase in temperature may release these toxins, further harming the environment and the people.

Zugspitze                    Wettersteingebirge    Berchtesgardener Alpen

Nördlicher Schneeferner

Südlicher Schneeferner