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Posts Tagged ‘Andes’

Unprecedented glacier melting in the Andes blamed on climate change

January 22, 2013 Comments off

phys.org

pastorurimelt.jpgGlaciers in the tropical Andes have been retreating at increasing rate since the 1970s, scientists write in the most comprehensive review to date of Andean glacier observations. The researchers blame the melting on rising temperatures as the region has warmed about 0.7°C over the past 50 years (1950-1994). This unprecedented retreat could affect water supply to Andean populations in the near future. These conclusions are published today in The Cryosphere, an Open Access journal of the European Geosciences Union (EGU).

The international team of scientists – uniting researchers from Europe, South America and the US – shows in the new paper that, since the 1970s, glaciers in tropical Andes have been melting at a rate unprecedented in the past 300 years. Globally, glaciers have been retreating at a moderate pace as the planet warmed after the peak of the Little Ice Age, a cold period lasting from the 16th to the mid-19th century. Over the past few decades, however, the rate of melting has increased steeply in the tropical Andes. Glaciers in the mountain range have shrunk by an average of 30-50% since the 1970s, according Read more…

Melting glaciers store up trouble

July 14, 2011 Comments off

swissinfo

A Greenpeace activist walks a tightrope over a glacier lake.

Image Caption: A Greenpeace activist walks a tightrope over a glacier lake. (Keystone)

by Julia Slater, swissinfo.ch

As the alpine glaciers shrink they will affect the flow of Europe’s biggest rivers, impacting areas of the economy ranging from shipping to power generation.

Glaciologist Matthias Huss of Fribourg University has discovered that right down to the sea, the Danube, Rhine, Rhone and Po contain a larger proportion of water from glaciers than previously thought.

For example, more than a quarter of the water that flows from the Rhone into the Mediterranean in August has its origin in alpine glaciers. At its mouth in the Netherlands seven percent of the water in the Rhine is Read more…