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Small Piece of Melting Italian Glacier Accelerates

Glaciologist of Fondazione Montagna Sicura, Safe Mountain Foundation, Fabrizio Troilo, monitors computer images of the Planpincieux glacier, near Courmayeur, Italy, Sept. 26, 2019.

An expert monitoring a fast-moving glacier on the Italian side of the Mont Blanc massif says a small section has picked up speed and could break off in the coming days.

Fabrizio Troilo, a glaciologist with the Safe Mountain Foundation, said Monday that the piece — measuring some 27,000 cubic meters (953,390 cubic feet) — is moving at 60 centimeters (23.6 inches) a day.

That is about twice as fast as a massive 250,000-cubic-meter (8,827,683-cubic feet) chunk that also risks breaking off from the Planpincieux glacier.

Troilo said the smaller piece "could collapse in the next days or week," but that such collapses are annual events and would have no impact on the rest of the valley.

Experts say the increased melting rate has been linked to climate change.