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November 9 2012

Melting in the Andes: Goodbye glaciers


From the shade of an adobe house overlooking Peru's Santa River, Jimmy Melgarejo squints at the dual peaks of Mount Huascarán looming against a cloudless sky. “The snow keeps getting farther away,” says Melgarejo, a farmer worried about his livelihood. “It's moving up, little by little. When the snow disappears, there will be no water.”

Throughout the Andes, millions of people voice the same concern as they watch climate change eat away at the mountain chain's icy mantle. But although everyone fears a water shortage, they do not know how quickly it will come or how severe it will be.

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