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Remains of British climber who went missing 52 years ago found in the Swiss Alps

The remains of a climber discovered in the Swiss Alps last year have been identified as a British mountaineer who went missing 52 years ago, local police said Thursday.

It is the latest in a series of discoveries of remains of long-missing climbers revealed as the Alp's glaciers melt and recede because of global warming.

The climber was reported missing in July 1971 but search teams at the time turned up nothing, said police in the canton of Valais, southwest Switzerland.

Then on August 22, 2022, two climbers found human remains on the Chessjengletscher glacier near Saas-Fee, an Alpine village in the Saas Valley.

A picture taken on July 30, 2022 shows the Fee Glacier above the Swiss alpine resort of Saas-Fee on July 30, 2022.  FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP via Getty Images

It took a year to identify the person, as experts worked their way through the case files of missing climbers.

Finally, with the help of Interpol Manchester and the police in Scotland, a relative was found and a DNA sample allowed them to identify the British mountaineer, police said in a statement.

The climber was formally identified on August 30.

Melting glaciers reveal remains of hikers, climbers in recent years

As glaciers increasingly melt and recede, which many scientists blame on global warming, there has been an increase in discoveries of the remains of hikers, skiers and other Alpinists who went missing decades ago.

In late July, the remains of a German climber who went missing in 1986 were discovered on another Swiss glacier. Police did not identify the climber but published a photo of a hiking boot and gear sticking out of the snow that apparently belonged to the missing man.

Just weeks later, a mountain guide found the remains of a man believed to have died in an accident on a glacier 22 years ago in the Austrian Alps.

In August 2017, Italian mountain rescue crews recovered the remains of hikers on a glacier on Mont Blanc's southern face likely dating from the 1980s or 1990s.

The month before that, a shrinking glacier in Switzerland revealed the bodies of a frozen couple who went missing in 1942.

In 2015, the remains of two Japanese climbers who went missing in 1970 on the Matterhorn were found and their identities were confirmed through the DNA testing, Reuters reported.

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