Venezuela becomes the first country in the Andes mountain range to lose its glaciers

Venezuela has been left without glaciers after La Corona on Humboldt Peak, located in the Andes mountain range at 4,900 meters above sea level, became too small to be considered as such, as confirmed by the scientific organization International Initiative on the Cryospheric Climate (ICCI) on its social networks.

Oliver Thansan
Oliver Thansan
14 May 2024 Tuesday 06:00
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Venezuela becomes the first country in the Andes mountain range to lose its glaciers

Venezuela has been left without glaciers after La Corona on Humboldt Peak, located in the Andes mountain range at 4,900 meters above sea level, became too small to be considered as such, as confirmed by the scientific organization International Initiative on the Cryospheric Climate (ICCI) on its social networks.

This leaves the country with a sad record, because it becomes the first country in this area to lose all its glaciers, according to ICCI records.

“There hasn't been much ice cover on the last Venezuelan glacier since the 2000s,” Durham University glaciologist Dr Caroline Clason tells the BBC. With its current extension, experts have come to consider it as an “ice field.”

There is no global standard for the minimum size an ice mass must be to qualify as a glacier. However, government organizations such as the US Geological Survey point out that there is a certain consensus that its size is around ten hectares.

Their disappearance, which they attribute to climate change, is not unexpected. In 2019, a group of scientists already warned that Venezuela would be the first South American country to run out of glaciers, according to the Associated Press (AP). And he pointed precisely to the one located on Humboldt Peak.

In total, in the last century about six glaciers have been lost in Venezuela, recall the specialized organizations collected by the British public broadcaster.

The thaw is far from over and is not exclusive to Venezuela, but is advancing in all countries in the world. According to researcher Maximiliano Herrera, the next countries that would probably be free of glaciers would be Indonesia, Mexico and Slovenia.

In his opinion, this is a “logical” process, taking into account its proximity to the equator and relatively low mountains, which makes its polar caps more susceptible to global warming.