Disappearing glaciers: how long will they last?

10 June 2018

Estimating how long Peru’s glaciers will last if nothing is done to halt climate change is a sobering exercise in futurology. The Instituto Nacional de Investigación de Glaciares y Ecosistemas de Montaña (INAIGEM) has just published a book which provides a timeline as to the likely survival of Peru’s main glaciers and the possible consequences of their disappearance. Peru has the highest number of glaciers of any country located in the tropics.

The mighty Cordillera Blanca in Ancash (which includes Peru’s highest peak, Huascarán), will have disappeared by 2111. Since 1962 it has lost nearly 40% of its snow and ice cover. The Cordillera de Ampato in Arequipa will have disappeared rather sooner, in 2052, while the Cordillera Central will disappear even more quickly, in 2048. The latter has already lost 64% of its snow and ice since 1962. The life expectancy of the snow cover on the Ampay peak in Apurímac may be even shorter, INAIGEM contends.

INAIGEM forms part of the Environment Ministry. It was established in 2014.

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