Expert surprised by 'dying' glacier's collapse

STORY: "Until yesterday, if you would have asked me about a risky glacier for sure I would have not have cited the Marmolada," said Baccolo.

"It was really a sudden surprise to see that this glacier so heavily impacted by climate change has reacted in such an unpredictable and deep way," he told Reuters, noting that glaciers like Marmolada are considered 'placid', and are expected to just retreat.

Much of Italy has been baking in an early-summer heatwave and scientists said climate change was making previously stable glaciers more difficult to predict.

Temperatures on the normally freezing Marmolada touched 50 degrees Fahrenheit on Saturday (July 2), Veneto regional governor Luca Zaia said at the weekend.

A huge mass of ice collapsed close to Punta Rocca, on the route usually used by hikers and climbers to reach the summit, the Alpine rescue unit said.

Rescue teams resumed the search on Tuesday (July 5) for 13 climbers who were still missing.