VIDEO: Melting glaciers, Disappearing water

From Huaraz (about 3,200 m about sea level), we took a two hour bus ride into the national park of the Cordilleras Blancas, parking at the base of the peak and then trekking 45 minutes up to the mountain top that is the home of the Pastorouri Glacier, at 5,400 m above sea level!

Glaciers in Perú, and the rest of the world for that matter, are in trouble! Global warming is taking its toll! The glaciers found in Perú are the rarest form of glaciers, the Tropical Glaciers, meaning they exist no more than 23 degrees North or South of the Equator… Peruvian tropical glaciers make up for 80 or 90% of the world´s tropical glaciers (Sarah, our US friend in Huaraz whom we met in a restaurant, was studying the glacial retreat in the area and its effect on water–She filled us in on the sad reality and inspired us to visit Pastorouri ourselves, thanks sarah!)

And to fill you in on a bit more glacial facts …

A large population of Perú reside in arid areas that are dependent on water supplies from melting glaciers, that normally melt a little during the dry, hotter season and then are reformed during the rainy, colder season. The water from the glaciers also supplies rivers that have in some cases been dammed for hydroelectric power. Although I couldn´t find any exact info on the retreat of the Pastorouri Glacier itself, I did find some data on two other glaciers, one in Bolivia and one in Ecuador, where between .6 m and 1.4 m of ice are lost per year, per glacier, resulting in an almost 90% decrease in size over the last 70 years. Some researchers believe that by 2030, many of the large ice caps on the highest Andes will be gone if current climate trends continue. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Retreat_of_glaciers_since_1850#Andes)

What will this mean for the water situation in Perú? Where will water come from during the dry season if glaciers no longer supply rivers that carry water throughout the country?

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Watch it on Youtube.com

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Comments
4 Responses to “VIDEO: Melting glaciers, Disappearing water”
  1. Alex says:

    Haha! Miss you guys very mucho. I like the video idea

  2. rla1356 says:

    Hey Nat,So good to hear your voice and see you and Chris. Love all the info you are passing on, the boys are really getting a kick out of it. Keep the info coming, the videos rock! Next time share with us how it makes you feel…love you, miss you,A.RobinPS Benno turns 12 tomorrow! Hard to believe when you just turned 18 again. 😉

  3. heliopath says:

    haha awesome. well sad, but cool video.i like how natalie sounds like she’s forgotten her english at the beginning.good to see u guys.

  4. Jennifer says:

    I’m so jealous that you got to see a glacier! Awesome.And I’m totally proud of myself for being able to understand your Spanish, Natalie! 🙂 Yay!

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