[BUENOS AIRES] The glaciers of the Argentinian Patagonia are being destroyed by climate change— with most of them gone by 2030, says a scientist.
Jorge Rabassa, from the Science Research Southern Centre, Argentina, says the glaciers' disappearance will affect not only the local economy and the immediate environment, but will be a big loss to Argentina's natural heritage.
Rabassa, also a researcher at the Science Research National Council in Buenos Aires, Argentina, says global warming is affecting most of Patagonia's ice bodies.
"Very probably, between 2020 and 2030, most of these ice bodies will be gone", he told Ciencia HOY magazine.
Some glaciers have almost disappeared, such as the Manso river glacier — known as 'Ventisquero Negro' — in Nahuel Huapi National Park, southwest Argentina.
Upsala glacier, the biggest in Argentina and one of the largest in the southern hemisphere, has shrunk by eight kilometres in the last 25 years.
Rabassa told SciDev.Net that beyond Argentina, almost all Andine glaciers are melting.
"In some regions, it will have a big impact, especially in all the places where glacier water is used as a hydric resource, like Bolivia, Ecuador, Peru and particularly Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta in Colombia."