Investigators ascend the slopes of Mount Huascarán to learn more about how climate change is affecting the Andean glaciers.
While jumping off Peru’s highest mountain in a wingsuit is certainly impressive, there are more serious matters to be dealt with on Mount Huascarán in the province of Yungay.
The glaciers that cap the high altitudes of the Peruvian Andes are rapidly disappearing. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the Cordillera Blanca of Ancash where 70% of the world’s tropical glaciers are located.
Mount Huascarán is found in this mountain range towering over the landscape at around 6,700 meters (22,000 ft) above sea level. It is the highest mountain in Peru and the 4th highest peak in the Americas.
A team of scientists from INAIGEM (The National Glacier and Mountain Ecosystems Institute of Peru) set out from the small town of Musho on Sunday and will remain on the mountain for 8 days. They will be traveling to one of the highest base camps of Huascaran to carry out climate change research.
It is already clear that municipalities must attend to urgent and impending problems caused by the disappearance of the glaciers, related to water supply and natural disasters. However, a lack of studies means that there is little concrete data about the mountains and their glaciers leaving leaders and planners in a sea of speculation and hysteria.
This is why further research is still important even in the face of crisis. The investigation seeks to record data on the temperatures at different altitude levels while determining how the mountains and their ecosystems are being affected by the change.