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The natural world. Looking pretty for 3.5b years.

Going, Going, Gone...

Going, Going, Gone...

Author: Hugh Bollinger/Monday, August 27, 2018/Categories: natural history, photography, space science, sustainability, art and design, environment, climate change

                  Humboldt Glacier, Pico Humboldt in Sierra Nevada de Mérida Venezuela (credit: Wikicommons)

NASA has released images of Venezuela's Humboldt Gladier captuered by the imager on the Landsat 8 satellite. The glacier had been a prominent feature on the 16,200ft Pico Humboldt named for the famous 18th Century explorer, Alexander von Humboldt, who traveled through the region. Humboldt Glacier declined significantly between 1988 to 2015 and it is likely that within 20 to 30 years, no permanent ice field will exist on the peak.

According to NASA:

In 1910, glaciers spanned an area of at least ~4 square miles in the mountains of NW Venezuela. Today, less than 1% of that glaciated area still remains, and all of it in one glacier. The retreat of Humboldt Glacier, last patch of perennial ice in Venezuela, means that the country could soon be glacier-free.

                                 

                       Humboldt Glacier, Venezuela, 1988 to 2015 (credit: Landsat-8, NASA)

Tropical mountain glaciers provide the most basic of human needs, water. Meltwater from South America's Andes and the mountains of East Africa, known as the Afro-alpine, has provided the water necessary for agricultural and urban centers to develop. As climate change continues unfolding these sources, needed to sustain people, may soon vanish.

WHB

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