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The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) held its 35th session recently in Geneva, on the northern shore of Lac Leman. Across the water from the UN quadrant where the IPCC's decision-making body met lies Mont Blanc.
At 4,800 metres Mont Blanc is the highest peak in the Alps. Like nearly all alpine glaciers, it is losing mass at a rapid rate. Light brown patches on its slopes point to where the ice recently lay and the extent of the mountain's glacial retreat is obvious and worrisome. It is disappearing as fast as the multi-year sea ice in the Arctic.