, Austrian glaciers are melting at an unprecedented rate. Image/AFPTV / Anahide MERAYAN

In a shocking discovery, an alpine guide found the remains of an Austrian man believed to have died 22 years ago, the authorities revealed on Tuesday.

The remains were found last week on the Schlatenkees glacier in Hohe Tauern National Park, near the Italian border, according to a statement from the local police.

The police were informed about the body by a local guide in Lienz. The guide found the corpse at an altitude of about 9,500 feet. An operation was launched to recover the body with the help of a helicopter.

The rescuers also found a backpack containing cash, a bank card, and a driving licence. According to the police, the remains appear to be those of a man believed to have died in 2001.

"It is rather rare that human remains and an entire corpse are found on a glacier within such a short period of time," Tyrol police spokesman Christian Viehweider told AFP. DNA results are being carried out to ascertain the identity of the man.

The latest discovery comes just two months after other human remains were found on the same glacier. In June, human remains that could be decades old were found on the Schlatenkees. In July, the remains of an alpinist who disappeared in 1986 were discovered on the Theodul glacier in Switzerland.

According to the Austrian Alpine Club, Austrian glaciers are melting at an unprecedented rate. Half of Earth's glaciers are likely to melt away by the end of the 21st century, according to a study published in the journal Science.

Europe's biggest glaciers could vanish if steps are not taken soon to reverse the damage already done.

The Swiss Alps and Alpine glaciers have also witnessed rapid melting over the last few years. Last year, Europe witnessed an unprecedented heatwave that pushed the freezing point in Switzerland way above its highest summits.

The high temperatures even caused the border between Switzerland and Italy to shift. The border between Italy and Switzerland runs for 800.2 kilometres. The ice on and around Matterhorn Mountain has been melting and is literally moving the mountainous border between the two countries.

It is not just the alpine glaciers that are under threat due to global warming; the glaciers in the Himalayas are also melting at an alarmingly rapid rate.

According to the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development, two-thirds of the area's glaciers will melt by the year 2100. By the said year, the glacier-covered peaks will reveal the rocks underneath and will create sharp changes in the weather and sea levels worldwide.

The report said that even if we manage to cap global warming at 1.5 degrees Celsius by the century's end, the world will still permanently say goodbye to one-third of the region's ice.