Tag Archives: Latin America

World still warms in 2020 as greenhouse gases fall

Greenhouse gases have fallen during 2020. But that’s no reason for congratulations, in a year of climate drama.

LONDON, 11 December, 2020 − The year of the coronavirus − the year of global lockdown − meant a record fall in emissions of the greenhouse gases that drive global warming: by December there had been 34 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide from fossil fuel combustion worldwide, a fall of 7% compared with 2019, according to a new study.

If governments followed the economic shutdown with what the UN calls a “green pandemic recovery”, then by 2030 greenhouse gas emissions could fall by up to 25%. That remains a “big if.” Right now the planet is heading towards an end-of-century average temperature rise of a calamitous 3°C, according to a second report.

And a third summary of the last 12 months finds the pandemic changed almost nothing, says the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO). The year looks to be one of the three warmest on record, in the warmest decade on record. The warmest six years ever recorded have all happened since 2015.

The news in the journal Earth System Science Data, that humankind managed not to add 2.4 bn tonnes of CO2 to the atmosphere because car journeys fell by half and airline flights dwindled at the peak of the lockdowns from Covid-19, should be encouraging.

“There is at least a one in five chance of [the world] temporarily exceeding 1.5°C by 2024. 2020 has been yet another extraordinary year for our climate”

To be on track to meet the promises made under the Paris Agreement of 2015, humankind has to reduce emissions by around 1 to 2 billion tonnes a year for the next ten years. Nobody can yet say whether the decline will continue, or whether emissions will rebound.

“All the elements are not yet in place for sustained decreases in global emissions, and emissions are slowly edging back to 2019 levels”, warned Corinne Le Quéré, of the University of East Anglia, UK. “Government actions to stimulate the economy at the end of the Covid-19 pandemic can also help lower emissions and tackle climate change.”

Here is the message of the United Nations Environment Programme’s latest Emissions Gap Report. Examining the gap between what nations promised to do in Paris, and what is actually happening, it warns that a 7% drop in emissions during 2020 translates to a reduction in global warming by 2050 of no more than 0.01°C.

If nations stepped into economic recovery with plans to advance renewable energy and save fossil fuel use, a 25% emissions cut could indeed create a chance of meeting the 2°C limit promised in the Paris Agreement. But it wouldn’t get the world to the real goal of a rise of no more than 1.5°C by 2100.

Roasting Arctic

Greenhouse gases continue to inflict a relentless burden. Right now the world is already 1.2°C warmer than at any time for almost all of human history, thanks to profligate fossil fuel use over the last century. And, says the WMO’s secretary-general Petteri Taalas, “there is at least a one in five chance of it temporarily exceeding 1.5°C by 2024.”

Ocean heat has reached record levels and 80% of the blue planet experienced at least one marine heatwave in the last year, says a summary of the year based on evidence from January to October. In the Siberian Arctic, temperatures were 5°C above normal. The Arctic summer sea ice was the second-lowest since records began 42 years ago. In California’s Death Valley in August, the thermometer hit 54.4°C, the highest anywhere in the world for at least the last 80 years.

“2020 has, unfortunately, been yet another extraordinary year for our climate. We saw new extreme temperatures on land, sea and especially in the Arctic. Wildfires consumed vast areas in Australia, Siberia, the US West Coast and South America, sending plumes of smoke circumnavigating the globe,” Professor Taalas said.

“We saw a record number of hurricanes in the Atlantic, including unprecedented back-to-back category 4 hurricanes in Central America in November. Flooding in parts of Africa and South-east Asia led to massive population displacement and undermined food security for millions.” − Climate News Network

Greenhouse gases have fallen during 2020. But that’s no reason for congratulations, in a year of climate drama.

LONDON, 11 December, 2020 − The year of the coronavirus − the year of global lockdown − meant a record fall in emissions of the greenhouse gases that drive global warming: by December there had been 34 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide from fossil fuel combustion worldwide, a fall of 7% compared with 2019, according to a new study.

If governments followed the economic shutdown with what the UN calls a “green pandemic recovery”, then by 2030 greenhouse gas emissions could fall by up to 25%. That remains a “big if.” Right now the planet is heading towards an end-of-century average temperature rise of a calamitous 3°C, according to a second report.

And a third summary of the last 12 months finds the pandemic changed almost nothing, says the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO). The year looks to be one of the three warmest on record, in the warmest decade on record. The warmest six years ever recorded have all happened since 2015.

The news in the journal Earth System Science Data, that humankind managed not to add 2.4 bn tonnes of CO2 to the atmosphere because car journeys fell by half and airline flights dwindled at the peak of the lockdowns from Covid-19, should be encouraging.

“There is at least a one in five chance of [the world] temporarily exceeding 1.5°C by 2024. 2020 has been yet another extraordinary year for our climate”

To be on track to meet the promises made under the Paris Agreement of 2015, humankind has to reduce emissions by around 1 to 2 billion tonnes a year for the next ten years. Nobody can yet say whether the decline will continue, or whether emissions will rebound.

“All the elements are not yet in place for sustained decreases in global emissions, and emissions are slowly edging back to 2019 levels”, warned Corinne Le Quéré, of the University of East Anglia, UK. “Government actions to stimulate the economy at the end of the Covid-19 pandemic can also help lower emissions and tackle climate change.”

Here is the message of the United Nations Environment Programme’s latest Emissions Gap Report. Examining the gap between what nations promised to do in Paris, and what is actually happening, it warns that a 7% drop in emissions during 2020 translates to a reduction in global warming by 2050 of no more than 0.01°C.

If nations stepped into economic recovery with plans to advance renewable energy and save fossil fuel use, a 25% emissions cut could indeed create a chance of meeting the 2°C limit promised in the Paris Agreement. But it wouldn’t get the world to the real goal of a rise of no more than 1.5°C by 2100.

Roasting Arctic

Greenhouse gases continue to inflict a relentless burden. Right now the world is already 1.2°C warmer than at any time for almost all of human history, thanks to profligate fossil fuel use over the last century. And, says the WMO’s secretary-general Petteri Taalas, “there is at least a one in five chance of it temporarily exceeding 1.5°C by 2024.”

Ocean heat has reached record levels and 80% of the blue planet experienced at least one marine heatwave in the last year, says a summary of the year based on evidence from January to October. In the Siberian Arctic, temperatures were 5°C above normal. The Arctic summer sea ice was the second-lowest since records began 42 years ago. In California’s Death Valley in August, the thermometer hit 54.4°C, the highest anywhere in the world for at least the last 80 years.

“2020 has, unfortunately, been yet another extraordinary year for our climate. We saw new extreme temperatures on land, sea and especially in the Arctic. Wildfires consumed vast areas in Australia, Siberia, the US West Coast and South America, sending plumes of smoke circumnavigating the globe,” Professor Taalas said.

“We saw a record number of hurricanes in the Atlantic, including unprecedented back-to-back category 4 hurricanes in Central America in November. Flooding in parts of Africa and South-east Asia led to massive population displacement and undermined food security for millions.” − Climate News Network

Forest peoples urge land rights action

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE There’s plenty of talk at the United Nations and in the corridors of international conferences on making land rights a realiy for forest people. But campaigners say there’s not much action to match. LONDON, 23 February – Forest people’s groups say many governments are failing to protect their right to their ancestral lands, and argue that this neglect is damaging efforts to slow climate change. Their argument is supported by campaigners. Research by the Rights and Resources Initiative (RRI) says the pace of provision of new legal protection for indigenous communities has fallen, despite an increase in professions of support by industry, governments and international initiatives like REDD+ and the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. RRI says fewer new laws have been passed to protect indigenous land rights since 2008 than in the six preceding years, and the legislation that has been enacted is weaker. Previous RRI research into 12 emerging market countries found that at least one out of every three hectares licensed for natural resource development overlaps with indigenous community land. When private companies acquire land and resources without first checking who lives there, it says, they expose themselves and their investors to substantial risk, as some level of conflict or business disruption often results. The ownership of almost half the developing world’s rural, forest and dryland areas is contested, according to RRI, directly affecting the lives and livelihoods of over two billion people. They often have no formal title to the lands on which they live and depend, and can seldom legally defend their rights.

Better stewards

An RRI report, Lots of Words, Little Action: Will the private sector tip the scales for community land rights?, examines how land rights and attempts to mitigate climate change through REDD are linked. One of its findings is that REDD+ initiatives are not yet translating into globally significant increases in the area under the ownership and control of indigenous peoples and local communities. Meanwhile, it says, the global forest area covered by industrial concessions is large and growing. Global climate change efforts have a key role to play in securing the land rights of indigenous people and rural communities, it says. And when they are secured, that means less deforestation and more climate change mitigation. Indigenous communities, it is argued, are unlikely to over-exploit forest resources. Their understanding of the forests as the place on which they depend encourages them to resist deforestation and the piecemeal exploitation and destruction of their fauna and flora. Indonesia is the third-largest emitter of greenhouse gases, chiefly because of deforestation for palm oil and other natural resource extraction. One group, the Indigenous Peoples’ Alliance of the Archipelago (AMAN), says those it represents claim 40 million hectares of the country’s rainforests. If they are given stronger rights over their lands, AMAN says, they will help the country to fight deforestation and reduce climate change.

Wide regional variations

The head of AMAN, Abdon Nababan, is urging President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyon to formally implement a May 2013 Constitutional Court decision which declared unconstitutional a line in the country’s 1999 Forestry Law stating that customary forests are state forest. The Indonesian Government controls 96% of the country’s forests. The RRI report also highlights a number of regional differences:

  • In Latin America, communities own or control more than 39% of forests, a direct contrast with sub-Saharan Africa where less than 6% of forests are controlled by communities.
  • Of the recorded progress seen in Africa since 2002, 89% comes from the implementation of Tanzania’s Village Land Act (1999) and Forest Act (2002).
  • Only two African countries in the study – Liberia and Mozambique – have statutory frameworks that recognize community ownership of land.
  • Governments of the countries of the Congo Basin, which contains the world’s second largest rainforest, claim legal control of more than 99% of forest land.
  • By 2013, all 12 Asian countries surveyed had implemented some form of community tenure regime, but these laws affect less than 4% of forestland in seven of the nations.

One of  RRI’s campaigns seeks to double by 2018 the amount of land recognized worldwide as owned or controlled by indigenous peoples and local communities. Another effort is focused on REDD+, which RRI describes as “the world’s leading initiative to support forest conservation”. REDD+ promises to respect the rights of indigenous people and local communities to protect forests and to sell the carbon they contain as offsets to polluters seeking to meet emissions targets. The United Nations is leading the negotiations for new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) intended to guide economic development and poverty reduction for the next 15 years. But RRI is concerned that no specific target for land rights has yet been set for the SDGs. – Climate News Network

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE There’s plenty of talk at the United Nations and in the corridors of international conferences on making land rights a realiy for forest people. But campaigners say there’s not much action to match. LONDON, 23 February – Forest people’s groups say many governments are failing to protect their right to their ancestral lands, and argue that this neglect is damaging efforts to slow climate change. Their argument is supported by campaigners. Research by the Rights and Resources Initiative (RRI) says the pace of provision of new legal protection for indigenous communities has fallen, despite an increase in professions of support by industry, governments and international initiatives like REDD+ and the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. RRI says fewer new laws have been passed to protect indigenous land rights since 2008 than in the six preceding years, and the legislation that has been enacted is weaker. Previous RRI research into 12 emerging market countries found that at least one out of every three hectares licensed for natural resource development overlaps with indigenous community land. When private companies acquire land and resources without first checking who lives there, it says, they expose themselves and their investors to substantial risk, as some level of conflict or business disruption often results. The ownership of almost half the developing world’s rural, forest and dryland areas is contested, according to RRI, directly affecting the lives and livelihoods of over two billion people. They often have no formal title to the lands on which they live and depend, and can seldom legally defend their rights.

Better stewards

An RRI report, Lots of Words, Little Action: Will the private sector tip the scales for community land rights?, examines how land rights and attempts to mitigate climate change through REDD are linked. One of its findings is that REDD+ initiatives are not yet translating into globally significant increases in the area under the ownership and control of indigenous peoples and local communities. Meanwhile, it says, the global forest area covered by industrial concessions is large and growing. Global climate change efforts have a key role to play in securing the land rights of indigenous people and rural communities, it says. And when they are secured, that means less deforestation and more climate change mitigation. Indigenous communities, it is argued, are unlikely to over-exploit forest resources. Their understanding of the forests as the place on which they depend encourages them to resist deforestation and the piecemeal exploitation and destruction of their fauna and flora. Indonesia is the third-largest emitter of greenhouse gases, chiefly because of deforestation for palm oil and other natural resource extraction. One group, the Indigenous Peoples’ Alliance of the Archipelago (AMAN), says those it represents claim 40 million hectares of the country’s rainforests. If they are given stronger rights over their lands, AMAN says, they will help the country to fight deforestation and reduce climate change.

Wide regional variations

The head of AMAN, Abdon Nababan, is urging President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyon to formally implement a May 2013 Constitutional Court decision which declared unconstitutional a line in the country’s 1999 Forestry Law stating that customary forests are state forest. The Indonesian Government controls 96% of the country’s forests. The RRI report also highlights a number of regional differences:

  • In Latin America, communities own or control more than 39% of forests, a direct contrast with sub-Saharan Africa where less than 6% of forests are controlled by communities.
  • Of the recorded progress seen in Africa since 2002, 89% comes from the implementation of Tanzania’s Village Land Act (1999) and Forest Act (2002).
  • Only two African countries in the study – Liberia and Mozambique – have statutory frameworks that recognize community ownership of land.
  • Governments of the countries of the Congo Basin, which contains the world’s second largest rainforest, claim legal control of more than 99% of forest land.
  • By 2013, all 12 Asian countries surveyed had implemented some form of community tenure regime, but these laws affect less than 4% of forestland in seven of the nations.

One of  RRI’s campaigns seeks to double by 2018 the amount of land recognized worldwide as owned or controlled by indigenous peoples and local communities. Another effort is focused on REDD+, which RRI describes as “the world’s leading initiative to support forest conservation”. REDD+ promises to respect the rights of indigenous people and local communities to protect forests and to sell the carbon they contain as offsets to polluters seeking to meet emissions targets. The United Nations is leading the negotiations for new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) intended to guide economic development and poverty reduction for the next 15 years. But RRI is concerned that no specific target for land rights has yet been set for the SDGs. – Climate News Network

Andes' tropical glaciers 'going fast'

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Within the last three decades the glaciers of the tropical Andes have receded by between nearly a third and a half, scientists say – with the warming of the Pacific to blame.

LONDON, 9 April – The glaciers of the tropical Andes have shrunk by between 30 and 50% in 30 years and many will soon disappear altogether, cutting off the summer water supply for millions of people, according to scientists studying the region’s climate.

Their findings are particularly significant because glaciers in the tropics, 99% of which are in the Andes, are regarded as among the most sensitive indicators of climate change on the planet, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

In the Andes glaciers contribute to irrigation, hydroelectricity generation and water supply. For example, 15% of the water consumed in La Paz, the capital of Bolivia, comes from glaciers, a figure that doubles in the summer. The region, with 3.5 million people, is heavily dependent on melt water for its survival (and see our story of 25 January, Andean glaciers show record melting).

Many of the crops along hundreds of kilometres on the dry eastern slopes of the Andes rely on irrigation from glacier melt water in the summer.

The research covers 300 years of glacier history in South America. The glaciers reached their maximum extent during what is termed the Little Ice Age, between 1650 and 1730, when the world was colder. Rivers like the Thames in London and Seine in Paris froze over during some winters.

By studying rocky debris piled up during the Little Ice Age and then left behind as the glaciers retreated after 1750 the researchers have been able to chart their progress.

Rain replaces snow

 

Since then there has been a gradual decline in the length and mass of the glaciers, but this has accelerated dramatically during the last 30 years. Aerial photographs and satellite records have shown how quickly the area has changed.

Although the temperature in the region has increased by 0.7°C in this period, the warming is not thought to be the major cause of the retreat. Instead it is the warming of the Pacific Ocean since the 1970s that is the problem.

The influence of the warmer sea on the climate means that instead of snowing at higher altitudes in the tropical Andes, it frequently rains. As a result the snowpack has no opportunity to build up, leaving the glaciers bare and exposed to sunlight.

The study, published in the journal The Cryosphere, includes measurements and other work done by scientists in Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador and Colombia in collaboration with Albany University in the United States, Zurich University in Switzerland and Savoie University in France.

The glaciers cover 1,900 square kilometres, but many of them are not expected to survive the predicted increase in temperature of 4°C to 5°C by the end of this century. Some are already disappearing. The Chacaltaya glacier above La Paz disappeared in 2010.

Smaller glaciers (less than a square kilometer in size) are most vulnerable, and the lower the altitude the faster they are melting. At a height of 5,400 metres melting can be as high as 80 to 100% already, as in the case of the glacier above La Paz. Most glaciers at this altitude are expected to disappear in the next 10 to 15 years. – Climate News Network

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Within the last three decades the glaciers of the tropical Andes have receded by between nearly a third and a half, scientists say – with the warming of the Pacific to blame.

LONDON, 9 April – The glaciers of the tropical Andes have shrunk by between 30 and 50% in 30 years and many will soon disappear altogether, cutting off the summer water supply for millions of people, according to scientists studying the region’s climate.

Their findings are particularly significant because glaciers in the tropics, 99% of which are in the Andes, are regarded as among the most sensitive indicators of climate change on the planet, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

In the Andes glaciers contribute to irrigation, hydroelectricity generation and water supply. For example, 15% of the water consumed in La Paz, the capital of Bolivia, comes from glaciers, a figure that doubles in the summer. The region, with 3.5 million people, is heavily dependent on melt water for its survival (and see our story of 25 January, Andean glaciers show record melting).

Many of the crops along hundreds of kilometres on the dry eastern slopes of the Andes rely on irrigation from glacier melt water in the summer.

The research covers 300 years of glacier history in South America. The glaciers reached their maximum extent during what is termed the Little Ice Age, between 1650 and 1730, when the world was colder. Rivers like the Thames in London and Seine in Paris froze over during some winters.

By studying rocky debris piled up during the Little Ice Age and then left behind as the glaciers retreated after 1750 the researchers have been able to chart their progress.

Rain replaces snow

 

Since then there has been a gradual decline in the length and mass of the glaciers, but this has accelerated dramatically during the last 30 years. Aerial photographs and satellite records have shown how quickly the area has changed.

Although the temperature in the region has increased by 0.7°C in this period, the warming is not thought to be the major cause of the retreat. Instead it is the warming of the Pacific Ocean since the 1970s that is the problem.

The influence of the warmer sea on the climate means that instead of snowing at higher altitudes in the tropical Andes, it frequently rains. As a result the snowpack has no opportunity to build up, leaving the glaciers bare and exposed to sunlight.

The study, published in the journal The Cryosphere, includes measurements and other work done by scientists in Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador and Colombia in collaboration with Albany University in the United States, Zurich University in Switzerland and Savoie University in France.

The glaciers cover 1,900 square kilometres, but many of them are not expected to survive the predicted increase in temperature of 4°C to 5°C by the end of this century. Some are already disappearing. The Chacaltaya glacier above La Paz disappeared in 2010.

Smaller glaciers (less than a square kilometer in size) are most vulnerable, and the lower the altitude the faster they are melting. At a height of 5,400 metres melting can be as high as 80 to 100% already, as in the case of the glacier above La Paz. Most glaciers at this altitude are expected to disappear in the next 10 to 15 years. – Climate News Network

Andes’ tropical glaciers ‘going fast’

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Within the last three decades the glaciers of the tropical Andes have receded by between nearly a third and a half, scientists say – with the warming of the Pacific to blame. LONDON, 9 April – The glaciers of the tropical Andes have shrunk by between 30 and 50% in 30 years and many will soon disappear altogether, cutting off the summer water supply for millions of people, according to scientists studying the region’s climate. Their findings are particularly significant because glaciers in the tropics, 99% of which are in the Andes, are regarded as among the most sensitive indicators of climate change on the planet, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). In the Andes glaciers contribute to irrigation, hydroelectricity generation and water supply. For example, 15% of the water consumed in La Paz, the capital of Bolivia, comes from glaciers, a figure that doubles in the summer. The region, with 3.5 million people, is heavily dependent on melt water for its survival (and see our story of 25 January, Andean glaciers show record melting). Many of the crops along hundreds of kilometres on the dry eastern slopes of the Andes rely on irrigation from glacier melt water in the summer. The research covers 300 years of glacier history in South America. The glaciers reached their maximum extent during what is termed the Little Ice Age, between 1650 and 1730, when the world was colder. Rivers like the Thames in London and Seine in Paris froze over during some winters. By studying rocky debris piled up during the Little Ice Age and then left behind as the glaciers retreated after 1750 the researchers have been able to chart their progress.

Rain replaces snow

  Since then there has been a gradual decline in the length and mass of the glaciers, but this has accelerated dramatically during the last 30 years. Aerial photographs and satellite records have shown how quickly the area has changed. Although the temperature in the region has increased by 0.7°C in this period, the warming is not thought to be the major cause of the retreat. Instead it is the warming of the Pacific Ocean since the 1970s that is the problem. The influence of the warmer sea on the climate means that instead of snowing at higher altitudes in the tropical Andes, it frequently rains. As a result the snowpack has no opportunity to build up, leaving the glaciers bare and exposed to sunlight. The study, published in the journal The Cryosphere, includes measurements and other work done by scientists in Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador and Colombia in collaboration with Albany University in the United States, Zurich University in Switzerland and Savoie University in France. The glaciers cover 1,900 square kilometres, but many of them are not expected to survive the predicted increase in temperature of 4°C to 5°C by the end of this century. Some are already disappearing. The Chacaltaya glacier above La Paz disappeared in 2010. Smaller glaciers (less than a square kilometer in size) are most vulnerable, and the lower the altitude the faster they are melting. At a height of 5,400 metres melting can be as high as 80 to 100% already, as in the case of the glacier above La Paz. Most glaciers at this altitude are expected to disappear in the next 10 to 15 years. – Climate News Network

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Within the last three decades the glaciers of the tropical Andes have receded by between nearly a third and a half, scientists say – with the warming of the Pacific to blame. LONDON, 9 April – The glaciers of the tropical Andes have shrunk by between 30 and 50% in 30 years and many will soon disappear altogether, cutting off the summer water supply for millions of people, according to scientists studying the region’s climate. Their findings are particularly significant because glaciers in the tropics, 99% of which are in the Andes, are regarded as among the most sensitive indicators of climate change on the planet, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). In the Andes glaciers contribute to irrigation, hydroelectricity generation and water supply. For example, 15% of the water consumed in La Paz, the capital of Bolivia, comes from glaciers, a figure that doubles in the summer. The region, with 3.5 million people, is heavily dependent on melt water for its survival (and see our story of 25 January, Andean glaciers show record melting). Many of the crops along hundreds of kilometres on the dry eastern slopes of the Andes rely on irrigation from glacier melt water in the summer. The research covers 300 years of glacier history in South America. The glaciers reached their maximum extent during what is termed the Little Ice Age, between 1650 and 1730, when the world was colder. Rivers like the Thames in London and Seine in Paris froze over during some winters. By studying rocky debris piled up during the Little Ice Age and then left behind as the glaciers retreated after 1750 the researchers have been able to chart their progress.

Rain replaces snow

  Since then there has been a gradual decline in the length and mass of the glaciers, but this has accelerated dramatically during the last 30 years. Aerial photographs and satellite records have shown how quickly the area has changed. Although the temperature in the region has increased by 0.7°C in this period, the warming is not thought to be the major cause of the retreat. Instead it is the warming of the Pacific Ocean since the 1970s that is the problem. The influence of the warmer sea on the climate means that instead of snowing at higher altitudes in the tropical Andes, it frequently rains. As a result the snowpack has no opportunity to build up, leaving the glaciers bare and exposed to sunlight. The study, published in the journal The Cryosphere, includes measurements and other work done by scientists in Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador and Colombia in collaboration with Albany University in the United States, Zurich University in Switzerland and Savoie University in France. The glaciers cover 1,900 square kilometres, but many of them are not expected to survive the predicted increase in temperature of 4°C to 5°C by the end of this century. Some are already disappearing. The Chacaltaya glacier above La Paz disappeared in 2010. Smaller glaciers (less than a square kilometer in size) are most vulnerable, and the lower the altitude the faster they are melting. At a height of 5,400 metres melting can be as high as 80 to 100% already, as in the case of the glacier above La Paz. Most glaciers at this altitude are expected to disappear in the next 10 to 15 years. – Climate News Network