Quelccaya is the world’s largest tropical ice cap, located in Peru, and it may reach the point of no return in the next 30 years, according to scientists.
Mathias Vuille, a professor of Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences from the University at Albany of the State University of New York wrote an article on this glacier for the website The Conversation, where he states his concern about this environment, which, to him, is endangered.
His work has focused mainly on the Quelccaya, an ice cap that covers an area the size of more than 9,000 football fields. “To better understand how climate change affects this site, my colleague Doug Hardy from the University of Massachusetts and myself installed an automated weather station on the summit at 19,000 feet (5,680 meters) in 2004”, he wrote in the aforementioned website.
This analysis, together with data obtained by a former Peruvian Ph.D. student, Christian Yarleque, determined that the ice caps have been shrinking rapidly in the past decades.
Vuille also said that the ice cap will completely disappear soon unless the global greenhouse gases are dramatically reduced within the next 30 years.
“Unfortunately Quelccaya is not a unique case, as climate change is rapidly transforming the high-mountain environments in the Andes from Venezuela in the north to Chile in the south. As our work in Peru shows, these changes will have profound effects locally, with potential repercussions far from the glacier sites”, Vuille wrote.