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Coming down the tracks, Nature Climate Change, Oct 2018

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On 7 March 2017, a huge avalanche ripped through the Sionne Valley in the Swiss Alps. Like a runaway train whose carriages got separated on departure, the monster snow cloud tore downhill in numerous parallel lines, racing towards an end point some two-and-a-half kilometres away. This was the largest, most powerfuavalanche in the Sionne valley in 11 years, carrying around 100,000 tonnes of snow downhillA mass of tumbling snow travellinat this velocity — up to 300 km h— can cause untold damage, tearing utrees, flattening buildings and burying innocent bystanders. 
The March 2017 event did none of that. Instead, triggered by explosives dropped from a helicopterthis avalanche was an experiment, meticulously planned and monitored in what is now the worlds largest avalanche research site.
Read the full article, published in Nature Climate Change, here:

Olive Heffernan

Olive Heffernan is a London-based freelance environment writer. Olive mostly writes about climate change and its impacts, but also writes more broadly on sustainable resource use. Here you can find an archive of her recent articles, link to her Twitter feed and her blog.

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