This chapter presents the perennial firn/ice patches in the mountains of the Balkan Peninsula. The detailed study of these features in the last decades has proved that many of them are, in fact, small glaciers. They have survived without complete melting since the end of the Little Ice Age, and thus the time of their formation must have not later than in 14–15th century AD. At present, the existence of 16 small glaciers is suggested (and proved for some of them) in three mountains throughout the peninsula: Prokletije (mainly in Albania), Durmitor (in Montenegro) and Pirin (in Bulgaria), the biggest number being found in Prokletije. The two small glaciers (glacierets) in Pirin mountain are at present the southernmost glacial masses in Europe (the only located south of 42°N). Despite the registered warming of high mountain climate, small glaciers on the Balkan Peninsula have shown no trends towards shrinkage for the last 23 years.
Part of the book: Glacier Evolution in a Changing World