Farewell to Bolivia’s Chacaltaya Glacier

Chacaltaya, the Bolivian glacier just 35 miles from La Paz, completely disappeared on one, unknown, sad day this year.  The glacier is famous for being home to what was once Bolivia’s only ski resort – and now for being an early victim of accelerating climate change.  Researchers first began to note the glacier’s melting in 1985, and predicted then that the glacier would be gone sometime around 2015.  Chacaltaya is now just one other indicator that impacts around the world are speeding up.

Dr. Edwin Ramirez, one of the main researchers studying Chacaltaya said in a recent interview, ”It’s very probable that other glaciers are disappearing faster than we thought”, which is cause for major alarm bells to go off, given that 30 million people depend upon glaciers for their water supply in the Andean region. 

It’s no surprise then that 14 Latin American countries declared their support for 350ppm at the last UN climate meetings in Germany just a few weeks ago – the delegates from these countries understand the implications for their people if we don’t reach 350ppm.  And citizens from Latin America certainly get it too – within just a few weeks of launching the 350 international day of climate action on 24 October, there are already over 40 events signed up in the region – and many more that I know are in the works.  Join in the action on 24 October to help build a movement big enough to get world leaders and our planet back on track – and to avoid more casualties like Chacaltaya in the future.

 

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