A new Colombian government report concluded that all of the country’s glaciers would be gone by 2050.
According to the Institute of Hydrology, Meteorology and Environmental Studies, (IDEAM in Spanish) only six glaciers can be currently found in Colombia compared to seventeen in 1850. Over the past 163 years, the IDEAM believes that the glacial surface in Colombia has dropped by 84% and observed that glaciers have melted at a much faster rate of 3% to 5% over the past three decades.
IDEAM director Ricardo Lozano expressed his hope to the local press that the new report could serve as a “valuable resource for the creation of public policy related to climate change and the hanging high mountain ecosystems.” (All of the glaciers in Colombia lie higher than 5100 meters above sea level).
Colombia isn’t the only South American country where climate change seems to be accelerating the rate of melting in glaciers:
- Argentina: Scientists worry that melting glaciers in the Patagonia region could be “supplying water to sea-level at a big rate compared to its size.”
- Peru: In the high Andean mountain regions, “rising temperatures and changes in water supply over the last 40 years have decimated crops, killed fish stocks and forced villages to question how they will survive for another generation”.
- Chile: Researchers believe that the Jorge Montt glacier (seen in the above video) has shrunk by half a mile in the span of one year.
Online Sources – El Tiempo, El Espectador, Scientific American, Washington Post, The Telegraph