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Source: Bryan Mestre/Instagram

Photo of French Alps Melting Into a Lake Is a Troubling Sign of the Climate Crisis

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A polar bear on a melting ice cap has long been a poster child for the climate crisis — but the melting French Alps just may be the latest hot embodiment. On a June 28 trek up the famous mountain, alpinist Bryan Mestre captured a concerning sight: A lake that had formed due to snow melting on the Alps, measuring about 30 meters long, he estimates. Mestre spotted the lake on the Mont Blanc mountain, which is the highest mountain in the Alps, at around 11,100 feet in altitude, The Independent reported.

Mestre shared a photo and video of what he witnessed on his Instagram, explaining that he spotted the lake at the end of a 10-day heatwave. "Only 10 days of extreme heat were enough to collapse, melt and form a lake at the base of the Dent du Géant and the Aiguilles Marbrées," Mestre wrote. "That I know, this is the first time anything like that as ever happened. Southern Europe and the Alps have been struck by a massive heatwave with temperature ranging from 40 to 50 degrees [Celsius]," which is 104 to 122 degrees Fahrenheit. (According to the New York Times, France did not exceed 114 degrees Fahrenheit in temperature.)