Climate change: Venezuela is the first country to lose all its glaciers

With the disappearance of the white cap on Humboldt Peak, high in the Andes Venezuela became the first country in modern history to lose all its valuables glaciers his.

The International Climate and Cryosphere Initiative, an anti-global warming science group, announced this month that the Humboldt Glacier, also known as “La Corona” in Spanish, is now “too small to be a glacier” because it only has an area. 20 acres.

“Our tropical glaciers began to disappear in the 1970s and their absence is felt. It’s very sad and the only thing we can do is use their memory to show children how beautiful the Sierra Nevada is,” he said. NBC Alejandra Melfo, astrophysicist at the University of the Andes.

Venezuela had a total of 6 glaciers in the Sierra Nevada, all of them located at an altitude of about 5000 meters. By 2011, five had disappeared, but the Humboldt glacier seemed to be standing still. Finally, the retreat was faster than expected.

According to Melphon’s study In 2020, Venezuela lost 98% of its ice from 1952 to 2019.

As with retreating glaciers in Austria and Switzerland, Humboldt Glacier was covered in thermal blankets in 2023 to protect itself from high temperatures. But it was already too late.

Ice Age

Glaciers are formed from snow that accumulates on mountain peaks and forms thick sheets that flow to the sea like slow rivers.

Glaciers covered much of the Northern Hemisphere during the last Ice Age, but began to retreat when they ended about 11,000 years ago.

“Although the disappearance of the glaciers has already occurred due to the period we are in, there is no doubt that climate change accelerated the process caused by greenhouse gases,” said Maximiliano Bezada of the University of Minnesota.

“We are at the end of the ice age. Almost all glaciers disappear in the intratropical zone, mainly at altitudes below 5000 meters. “The Humboldt case was symbolic because it was 4,800 meters high and yet it lasted so long,” he said.

On the same wavelength, Melfo, a researcher at the University of the Andes, commented: “The rate of melting of glaciers is a sign of climate change (…) Glaciers have been disappearing for a long time, but the rate has changed due to high temperatures,” he said.

In 2023, an international study examining the planet’s 215,000 glaciers warned that if temperatures continue to rise, 83% will disappear by the end of the century.

As climatologist and meteorology historian Machimiliano Herrera told the Guardian, Indonesia, Mexico and Slovenia are likely to be the next countries to lose glaciers.

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