When people think of global warming and glacial melting, they often think of sea levels rising, coasts moving inland, and cities flooding and disappearing. Something that they rarely think about is the changing of borders between countries. However, this is exactly what is currently occuring in the Alps between Italy and Switzerland.
In an article written on CNN, the border dispute between Switzerland and Italy is discussed. Due to the increased global warming caused by the release of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, the glaciers in the Alps are melting. These glciars had been used to determine the border between Switzerland and Italy, but with the recent melting, the accepted border no longer coincised with the terrain in that area.
The two countries are cooperating to try to fix the border dispute. It has already been determined that the area that is currently in dispute is not inhabited by people, so there is no need to worry about a change in citizenship or other issues. They have come to an agreement that has been passed in Switzerland, but they are still waiting final approval on the side of Italy to have the borders come into effect.
In the coming years, it will be interesting the see if there in an increase in these sorts of disputes. Will we see more disputes in the Alps area? Will such disputes surface in the United States with the Appalachian Mountains or the Rockies? This idea of border alterations due to the metling water in the glaciars is likely to become more and more relevent as the glaciers continue to melt. It is promising that Italy and Switzerland made a peaceful and collaborative approach to addressing this problem that can serve as a precentent in cases of this nature to come.