Monday, April 14, 2014

Climate Change, Mining Threaten Chile's Unprotected Glaciers

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Article from NotiSur, April 11

A prolonged rain deficit and a memorable media maneuver by the high-profile environmental group Greenpeace have together sparked an upsurge in public interest regarding Chile’s world-class collection of glaciers. Chile, home to an estimated 82% of South America’s glaciers, relies on the mountaintop ice packs as a vital source of fresh water, particularly in times of drought. Right now is one of those times. The coastal country is coming off its driest year since 1998 and third driest since 1866, according to the government’s Dirección Meteorológica. Worse yet, 2013 was Chile’s fourth drier-than-average year in a row, prompting authorities to declare official states of escasez hídrica (water shortage) in numerous districts throughout the central part of the country, from the semi-arid Región de Coquimbo, approximately 400 km north of Santiago, south to the normally green Región de Maule. Benjamin Witte-Lebhar Read More

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