Saturday :: May 9, 2009

The Death of a Glacier and an Island: Victims of Global Warming


by Mary

A Bolivian glacier has disappeared years before scientists thought it would go.

At 17,388 feet above sea level, Chacaltaya, an 18,000 year-old glacier that delighted thousands of visitors for decades, is gone, completely melted away as of some sad, undetermined moment early this year.

"Chacaltaya has disappeared. It no longer exists," said Dr. Edson Ramirez, head of an international team of scientists that has studied the glacier since 1991.

The loss of the glacier has not just ended the viability of the world's highest ski slope, it also is a harbinger of a much drier country where water scarcity is predicted.

In other news, Kevin Drum has a post up about the last people who lived on the Charteret Islands have had to abandon their homeland for higher ground. As sea levels rise, there will be more refugees seeking to find a new home.

Mary :: 7:25 PM :: Comments (3) :: Digg It!