In Bolivia, A Major Glacier Disappears
Bolivia’s Chacaltaya glacier — an 18,000-year-old ice cap that once was the world’s highest ski resort — has melted entirely
, according to Bolivian scientists. “Chacaltaya has disappeared,” said Dr. Edison Ramirez, head of an international team of scientists that has studied the glacier since 1991. “It no longer
exists.” Located 17,388 feet above sea level, the glacier once served as the foundation of a ski resort that dated back to 1939 and attracted tens of thousands of visitors over the years; it was Bolivia’s only ski resort. As temperatures in the Andes have risen steadily in recent years, Ramirez and his team have documented the rapid retreat of Chacaltaya, which lost 80 percent of its mass since 1987. Ramirez predicted the glacier would disappear by 2015, but the rate of thawing increased threefold in the last decade, hastening the Chacaltaya's demise. The loss of Chacaltaya is the latest sign that glaciers in the Andes are melting faster than earlier projections
, threatening the drinking water supplies of 77 million people in the region. Most glaciers in the Andes could disappear in the next several decades, scientists predict.
Yale Environment 360 is
a publication of the
Yale School of Forestry
& Environmental Studies
Yale Environment 360
articles are now available in Spanish and Portuguese on Universia
, the online educational network. Visit the site.
Business & Innovation
Policy & Politics
Pollution & Health
Science & Technology
Antarctica and the Arctic
Central & South America
Tribal people and ranchers join together to stop a project that would haul coal across their Montana land. Watch the video.
is now available for mobile devices at e360.yale.edu/mobile
An aerial view of why Europe’s per capita carbon emissions are less than 50 percent of those in the U.S. View the photos.
Ugandan scientists monitor the impact of climate change on one of Africa’s most diverse forests and its extraordinary wildlife. Learn more.
video series looks at the staggering amount of food wasted in the U.S. – a problem with major human and environmental costs. Watch the video.
video goes onto the front lines with Colorado firefighters confronting deadly blazes fueled by a hotter, drier climate. Watch the video.
A three-part series Tainted Harvest
looks at the soil pollution crisis in China, the threat it poses to the food supply, and the complexity of any cleanup. Read the series.