Bolivia’s Chacaltaya Glacier has Disappeared
High above sea level, in the breathtaking Andes mountains of Bolivia, the Chacaltaya glacier existed for 18,000 years, until now. What was known as “the highest ski run in the world” has melted away. ”Chacaltaya has disappeared. It no longer exists,” said Dr. Edson Ramirez, head of a team of scientists studying the glacier and assistant director of the Institute of Hydraulics and Hydrology at the Universidad Mayor de San Andres in La Paz. Chacaltaya, meaning cold road in Aymara, started melting in the mid-1980s. When Ramirez began studying the glacier ten years ago, he and his colleagues concluded it would melt, but not until 2015. According to studies, the thaw rate increased threefold over the last decade. Researchers believe other glaciers in Bolivia, as well as Peru and Ecuador, will experience the same fate. ”It’s very probable that other glaciers are disappearing faster than we thought,” Ramirez said.