Peru's shrinking glaciers: 40 per cent smaller in 44 years

This file picture shows part of the Pastoruri snowcapped mountain in the central Peruvian Andes. An ice cave in the northern face of the Pastoruri has disappeared due to global warming. — AFP pic
This file picture shows part of the Pastoruri snowcapped mountain in the central Peruvian Andes. An ice cave in the northern face of the Pastoruri has disappeared due to global warming. — AFP pic

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LIMA, Oct 17 — Peru's glaciers have shrunk by more than 40 per cent since 1970 because of climate change, giving birth to nearly 1,000 new lagoons, national water authority ANA said yesterday.

Peru, which is hosting the United Nations Climate Change Conference, or COP 20, in December, used satellite images to carry out the glacier inventory ahead of the high-level meeting.

The worst-affected glacier was 5,200-meter-high (17,000-foot) tourist gem Pastoruri in the Andes mountains, which lost 52 per cent of its surface to melting over the last four decades as a direct result of climate change, the ANA found.

Peru has 2,679 glaciers across 20 mountain chains that cover about 2,000 square kilometres (770 square miles).

The South American country is one of the world's most biodiverse, with habitats ranging from the Amazon rainforest to snowy mountaintops. — AFP

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