November 23, 2023
“Peru’s Precious Water Reserves Melting Away: Half Gone in Half a Decade
For thousands of years the Peruvian Andes have been home to the many unique and majestic glaciers, providing lengthy, reliable sources of water for the region. But now, these glaciers in Peru are rapidly melting, and reports show that the country has lost more than half of its once vast reserves of glacial water.
Though experts had predicted such consequences of climate change for decades, the reality of this situation is now becoming apparent in Peru. Aerial photographs taken over the last three decades show the disappearance of Peruvian glaciers, melting at far higher rates than before. In 1989 over 4 million hectares carried glacial ice, but now the area has shrunk to 1.7 millions - a loss of over half.
The report from the Glaciological and Meteorological Monitoring Network of Peru (RMGP) explains that the accelerated melting of these glaciers has been caused by rising surface temperatures, which had risen around 1.13° Celsius since the 1980s. This rise in temperatures, the report explains, has been caused by global warming, exacerbated by the continued burning of fossil fuels - leading to increased amounts of greenhouse gases being released into the Earth's atmosphere and altering the planet's climate.
For the populations of Peru who wholly rely on glacial water for their domestic and agricultural needs, the loss of this source of water has severe consequences. The RMGP report calls for urgent action and better implementation of the Paris Climate Agreement to improve the current situation.
The melting of these glaciers is an unsettling reminder of the overwhelming effects of climate change, and its potential to cause irreversible damage. It is a stark reminder that global warming is no longer something to be taken lightly. Measures must be taken now, if humans are to withstand its impacts and preserve our planet and environment for future generations.