General news

Glacier of Andes Mountains Range could decline 20% in the next 10 years

Sunday, July 08, 2012



In the next 10 years the mass glacier of the Andes Mountains Range would decline by an average of 20 percent, due to the effects of global warming, according to estimates from a college professor in Zurich, the Swiss Wilfried Heaberli.

After attending the conference “Effects of reducing the high mountain glaciers on water resources”, organized by the National Water Authority (ANA -in spanish-), indicated that this situation should carry out simulations to see what might happen.

“This is only an estimate is difficult to quantify, depends on the ridges and the development of climate. Therefore, simulations should be developed and play in mathematical form what will happen in nature,” he said.

It also recommended that the Peruvian Government to continue implementing policies to adapt to climate change, to store fresh water, and proposed the implementation of prevention works to potential emergencies generated by avalanches.

The Swiss scientist explained that one of the biggest risks of this phenomenon is the flooding of the lakes located in the highlands of the mountains. He noted that the danger is that, by falling on them a mass of ice profiling large waves may occur to vacate its waters as alluvion flow (mud, sand, mud, trees), which would affect nearby populations and infrastructure.

However, these threats can become opportunities, ie, the lagoons can be used to store water in dry season and produce electricity, develop actions to prevent flooding and create natural dams. In turn, the Director of Conservation and Water Resources National Water Authority in Huaraz, Jesus Gomez Lopez, confirmed that the Peruvian glaciers have small areas of ice and snow disappear in the coming years. Commented that it would be the Yanamarey Glacier, located south of the Blanca Mountain range .

“These effects return to the high mountains most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change.” Nevertheless said that the situation of the Huascaran is different because presents glacial masses, so that its resistance will be higher and will survive the century.

For its part, the director of The Mountain Institute, Jorge Recharte Bullard said it is essential that rural communities involved in the management of glacial lakes. “They have ancient knowledge and ability to adapt to the impacts of climate change, but each participatory management requires a clear definition of adaptation to the risks and vulnerabilities,” he said.