Glaciologists observe the melting of glaciers in the mountains around the world. Most rapidly disappearing glaciers of Kilimanjaro, the Himalayas and the Alps. So they respond to global warming.
Glaciers are melting rapidly, and in the Andes, had discovered a group of researchers led by Vincent Dzhomelli (Vincent Jomelli) from the University of Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Université Paris I — Panthéon-Sorbonne). They watched the glacier Telata (Telata), which is located in the Andes in Bolivia. Scientists have reconstructed its history over the past 11,000 years and found that during that time, the area of the glacier has been changed several times. But in the XX century Telata melted most rapidly. According to the forecasts of glaciologists, it is possible that in a hundred years, he practically disappears.
Glacier melts with acceleration
"The dynamics of glaciers in the Andes are very poorly understood. But it is important to understand what is happening to them. After all, these data can be easily defined as the climate changes. Besides glaciers — a source of fresh water for many mountainous areas, "- says Dzhomelli.
Glaciologists follow in order as varied area Telata glacier at a height of four to six kilometers. To do this, they took from the moraine (glacial deposits) 57 stones on the surface to determine the number of isotopes of beryllium-10. With this analysis, we can see the time, when these stones covered glacier. And with this information, you can easily calculate how changing glacier area at certain time intervals.
According to the authors, Telata melted for about 11 thousand years ago, but the rate of this process has changed in three stages. In the period from 11 to 8500 years ago, the melting is very fast and strong, then the process has slowed down. But in the XX century, the glacier began to melt rapidly than ever before. And for over a century, scientists are watching his disappearance. "We have built a model that showed that 11 thousand years ago in the area of this glacier was about three degrees colder than it is now. During this time, the area Telaty decreased almost two times, "- says Dzhomelli.
According to scientists, it is clear that the disappearance of the glacier to blame for global warming. Especially strongly influenced by its melting temperature rise in the eastern Pacific and increased solar radiation in the summer, according to the authors.
Says Dzhomelli, forecasts say that in a hundred years in the highlands of the Andes in the tropics temperatures rise by 4 × 5 degrees. But such conditions are almost incompatible with life Telaty — he almost disappears: its area is reduced by 92%, and the border back down to two and a half kilometers.
Article Dzhomelli and his colleagues study the fate of high-altitude glaciers in the Andes, published in the latest issue of the journal Nature.