SOUTH AMERICA: Glaciers – Going, Going…Gone? –

BUENOS AIRES, Sep 6 (IPS) – South America is perhaps most often associated with the Amazon jungle, the world’s largest tropical rainforest. But along its western edge, from Ecuador to southern Chile and Argentina, it also harbours huge glaciers which are rapidly melting due to global warming.

The 18,000-year-old Chacaltaya glacier in the Bolivian Andes disappeared in August. Experts had forecast that it would survive until 2015, but it melted sooner than predicted, and what used to be famed as the world’s highest ski run, 5,300 metres above sea level, is now a boulder-strewn slope with a few patches of ice near the top.