Rising temperatures due to global climate change have reduced Colombia’s glaciers with almost 20% over the past six years, according to the country’s meteorological institute.
Of the 45 square kilometers of tropical glaciers registered in the country in 2010, only 37 were left in the last survey, IDEAM glaciologist Jorge Luis Ceballos told newspaper El Espectador.
The latest survey confirmed previous estimates that Colombia will be without any icy peaks on its Andes mountains within approximately 25 years.
Considering that the disappearing of the country’s tropical glaciers is irreversible, Ceballos urged the importance of studies like his on the effects of global climate change on glaciers while they still exist.
“It is like when they tell you you will die in six months, so in this time you study, learn new things, leave a registry. That’s why we consider this our generation’s obligation to reconstruct the history of what happened,” the glaciologist told El Tiempo.
Ceballos and colleagues from Bolivia, Ecuador and Peru have spent the past two years surveying the Andes’ glaciers that currently has 99% of the world’s tropical glaciers. The remaining 1% is in eastern Africa.