February 18, 2009

Andean Glaciers Under Threat From Climate Change

The World Bank warned Tuesday that the Andean glaciers and the region's permanently snow-covered peaks could disappear in 20 years if no measures are taken to tackle climate change, the AFP reported.

Rising temperatures from global warming may also have a dramatic impact on water management in the Andean region, which could be detrimental to agriculture and energy generation, according to the World Bank-published report.

The report also detailed how in the last 35 years Peru's glaciers have shrunk by 22 percent, leading to a 12 percent loss in the amount of fresh water reaching the coast, where most of the country's people live.

Pablo Fajnzylber, a senior World Bank economist, said it is highly probable that the earth's surface will undergo an unprecedented temperature increase of nearly four degrees Fahrenheit by 2050 and up to eight degrees by the end of the century.

This would deplete the equivalent of nearly seven billion cubic meters of water.

The World Bank has established a $6 billion fund to help develop low-carbon technologies in a bid to help slow the rate of warming.

The Andes form the world's longest exposed mountain range in the world.

The mountains range from over 4,400 miles long and 300 miles wide and have an average height of about 13,000 ft.


Image Caption: Alpamayo, Peru. Courtesy Brad Mering - Wikipedia


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