Hundreds mourn 'dead' glacier at funeral in Switzerland

A woman takes part in a ceremony to mark the "death" of Switzerland's Pizol glacier on Sunday.

(CNN)Hundreds of people held a funeral and paid respects to a Swiss glacier that is disappearing as temperatures climb.

Pizol glacier in the Glarus Alps, eastern Switzerland, stands at an altitude of about 2,700 meters, and has lost 80-90% of its volume since 2006, leaving behind 26,000 square meters of ice -- less than four football fields -- said Matthias Huss, a glacier specialist at ETH Zurich university.
The glacier, which has been monitored since 1893, will be the first to be taken off the Swiss glacier surveillance network, according to Huss.
Around 250 people gathered Sunday to hike up to the glacier, where a local priest gave a speech to commemorate the retreating ice, said Alessandra Degiacomi, coordinator of the Swiss Association for Climate Protection and organizer of the funeral march.
    Experts say the Pizol glacier has effectively disappeared.
    "Pizol glacier has disappeared. There will be some snow left, but the glacier is no more," Huss told CNN.
    "There are several small pieces of ice lying around, but these pieces are increasingly being covered by rock debris from the mountain. But given what is left of it, we will no longer term it a glacier in scientific terms," Huss added.