Losing Our Cool: The Demise of Venezuelan Glaciers

Just to add a tinge more sad news to the Venezuelan landscape, GlacierHub now reports that the country is losing its last glacier.

GlacierHub reported last week that the glacier of Pico Humboldt will probably disappear within the next 20 years. Out of the five glaciers there used to be in Venezuela, only the one in Pico Humboldt remains.

This is more than losing some snow:

“In the past, studies have shown how rapid glacier retreat affects the water cycle in glacier-dependent basins, which changes water regulation and availability.”

And sadly, with the current crisis, Venezuelan scientists can’t do much about it:

“Ángel G. Muñoz, a postdoctoral research scientist at the International Research Institute for Climate and Society (IRI), Columbia University, and Princeton University added that many factors impede scientific research in Venezuela. The economic situation in universities, research centers, and in the country as a whole, including the crime and the brain drain, are just a few of the factors involved in making it impossible for local scientists to advance in many fields.”

You can read more about it over at GlacierHub or check out the thought-provoking piece The Economist published last month.

Since the 1970’s, glaciers in our country have been disappearing due to climate change. In that time, the one in Pico Humboldt has reduced to a tenth of its size. Though we hardly are the only ones affected by climate change, once this is gone we’ll become the first modern nation to lose our glaciers.

José González Vargas

Freelance journalist, speculative fiction writer, college professor, political junkie, lover of books and movies and, semi-professional dilettante. José has written for NPR's Latino USA, Americas Quarterly, Into and ViceVersa Magazine.