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Melting Patagonian Ice Caps Pose Urgent Need for Climate Action in Argentina and Chile

The ice caps in Patagonia are thinning by a meter annually

Melting Patagonian Ice Caps Pose Urgent Need for Climate Action in Argentina and Chile

A recent study published in the journal ‘Communications Earth & Environment’ by the Nature group sheds light on the vulnerability of the Patagonian ice caps, located in Argentina and Chile. These ice caps are relatively unknown despite their vast size, covering about 16,000 square kilometers. The study re-evaluated the volume of these ice fields using remote sensing and satellite imagery, revealing that they hold 5,351 cubic kilometers of ice.

The glaciers in this region are dynamic, with some retreating while others remain stable. The retreat of these glacial fronts is influenced by several factors, including the depth of lake basins they flow into. This study highlights the urgent need to address the impact of climate change on these ice caps and the ecosystem they support. The faster retreat in deeper basins poses an increased risk to extreme weather events affecting the region.

Concerns are rising due to the loss of one meter of ice per year from these glaciers, which exceeds that of European Alps glaciers. This loss has a significant impact on water resources and surrounding ecosystems in this region. It is crucial to take immediate action to mitigate climate change’s effects on these ice caps and protect our planet’s biodiversity.

Led by Johannes Furst from the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, an international research group carried out this study using remote sensing and satellite imagery to analyze Patagonian ice caps’ volume accurately. The group discovered that these ice caps contain 40 times more ice than all European Alps glaciers combined.

The study revealed that some Patagonian glaciers reach thicknesses of over 1,400 meters, with some retreating while others remain stable. However, concerns are rising due to extreme weather events affecting this region as a result of climate change’s impact on these glacial fronts.

In conclusion, it is essential to address climate change’s impact on Patagonian ice caps and take immediate action to mitigate its effects on water resources and surrounding ecosystems in this region.

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