The National Water Authority just published its inventory of glaciers and lakes in the high Andes. Following the new report, the 18 mountain ranges with glaciers in Peru have lost 43% of their ice cover since 1970. Just under half of all the ice is gone! As we discussed in an earlier blog post, low-latitude glaciers are really susceptible to warming temperatures because they’re in a constant (daily) fight to not melt away every afternoon as the tropical sun beats down on them. Thus it’s not particularly surprising that the take-away from this year’s report is continued loss of Andean ice cover. Snow which fell over many thousands of years and was compressed into glacier ice is now melting away in decades. The rapid ice loss is unfortunate because it means future water shortages for many people and ecosystems.
You can download and read the report here: