Under the strong Patagonian sun, a glacier is glowing with health despite the effects of global warming. Much to the puzzle of scientists and the public, the Perito Moreno glacier in Argentine Patagonia is constantly expanding while most ice shields around the region are retreating, Associated Press reports.
“We are not sure why this happens,” said Andres Rivera, a glacialist from the Center for Scientific Studies in Valdivia, Chile. “But not all glaciers respond equally to climate change.”
Fed by snowmelt from the Andes, the Perito Moreno periodically advances over Lake Argentina, forming a dam that separates the two halves of the lake when it extends to the shore across. The pressure of the dammed water eventually breaks the ice wall, resulting in a powerful rupture that has been a major tourist attraction in the area for years.
But Perito Moreno seems to be a rare success story in South America. About 80 percent of the Andean glaciers are now retreating, and scientists say that global warming will melt most of them in the next 30 years.
For example, Bolivia’s Chacaltaya glacier –- once spreading over 500 meters — is now reduced to bare rocks, threatening the fresh water supplies of millions and inflicting huge economic losses in the country.
Source: Yahoo News
, a Bulgaria native, is a Chicago-based reporter for Circle of Blue. She co-writes The Stream, a daily digest of international water news trends.
Interests: Europe, China, Environmental Policy, International Security.