"Huge Bolivian glacier disappears
The Chacaltaya glacier in 1996 (left) and today
By James Painter
Latin America analyst
Scientists in Bolivia say that one of the country's most famous glaciers has almost disappeared as a result of climate change.
The Chacaltaya glacier, 5,300m (17,400 ft) up in the Andes, used to be the world's highest ski run.
But it has been reduced to just a few small pieces of ice.
Many Bolivians on the highland plains, and in two cities, depend on the melting of the glaciers for their water supply during the dry season.
The team of Bolivian scientists started measuring the Chacaltaya glacier in the 1990s. Not long ago they were predicting that it would survive until 2015.
But now it seems, the glacier has melted at a much faster rate than they expected.
Photos taken in the last two weeks show that all that is left of the majestic glacier, which is thought to be 18,000 years old, are a few lumps of ice near the top. *****
But Edson Ramirez, a scientist who has studied the region for years, says the significance of the melting glaciers goes way beyond tourism.
As well as those living on the highland plains, two of Bolivia's main cities, La Paz and El Alto, rely on the Andean glaciers for an important part of their drinking water.
The World Bank warned earlier this year that many of the Andes' tropical glaciers will disappear within 20 years.
This, the bank said, would both threaten the water supplies of nearly 80 million people living in the region, and jeopardise the future generation of hydropower.
Bolivia, Ecuador and Peru depend on that power for about half their electricity."
There's another way to get electricity: cf. www.campaignforgreen.
But water sources do not need to disappear, so there needs to be a halt to global warming, a halt to climate change, by using the other way to get electricity discussed at www.campaignforgreen.com. Bolivia, Peru, and Ecuador are not the only places that depend on water. Please see the Terra Humana Foundation site today.