Retreat of the Perito Moreno glacier, the scientific community concerned

The Perito Moreno glacier represents the largest surface of ice that exists in the entire southern hemisphere of the planet, excluding Antarctica.

The glacier has an area of ​​more than 12 thousand square kilometers and is one of the largest freshwater reservoirs in Patagonia. These formations benefit the planet during the driest times of the year, providing water by reducing their volume. Then, with the rains, it recovers its original size.

This giant mass of crystalline ice has walls almost 60 meters high, and its thinning movements occur north of the Canal de los Témpanos. In recent years, various satellite monitoring and ground-penetrating radar measurements have been carried out that confirm that the “balance” that this Santa Cruz giant enjoyed for almost half a century has come to an end.

The Perito Moreno glacier is losing its balance

For decades, the frozen layer periodically increased and decreased in thickness without affecting its total volume. Lucas Ruiz, member of the Argentine Institute of Civil, Glaciological and Environmental Sciences and researcher at Conicet, explained: “What is happening is due to the burning of fossil fuels. The concentration of these gases in the atmosphere is very high, higher than in two million years, causing unusual warming".

"Taking measurements in an area where large glaciers accumulate in the Southern Ice Field requires exhaustive training, forming a special team of people, having helicopters and entails the risks of traveling to a remote area."says the scientist who visits this ice colossus every year to examine its evolution.

"Argentina conducted research using a German aircraft to better understand glacial changes in the vast fields of Patagonian ice. Glaciers are an increasingly scarce type of freshwater reservoir“Ruiz concluded.

For his part, geologist Andrés Folgueras said: “The Perito Moreno glacier is one of the few glaciers that had not retreated until now. However, since 2020 we have seen a general decline. The upward curve of carbon emissions cannot be ignored, as humans impact the environment through their industrial activities. The reasons are still unclear, as there may be other contributing factors, but those who continue to deny global warming today are a minority.".

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