Italy’s land border cuts through the highest altitudes of the Alps — crossing snowfields, mountain peaks, and massive glaciers. For centuries, the watershed line (which marks the divide where water flows either north or south off of the mountains) served as a natural boundary between Italy and its European neighbors. But beginning in the 1980s, geographic surveyors noticed something: The glaciers whose peaks had long marked the watershed line were retreating … and moving Italy’s border along with them. The only inhabited place nearby — an Italian ski lodge called the Rifugio Guide del Cervino — was caught right in the middle. Since then, Italy, Switzerland, and Austria have piloted a new kind of “mobile border” agreement, where boundary lines move with the changing landscape. Their solution might prove crucial as climate change reshapes water-based borders around the world.
Taken from: Vox
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