Government agency to receive two stations for monitoring glacial retreat

The national meteorological and hydrological service Senamhi will receive two stations that will allow the agency to monitor and study glacial retreat in the Mantaro and Urubamba river basins, located in Peru’s central Junin and southern Cuzco regions, respectively, state news agency Andina reported.

The stations are being provided as part of the Adaptation to the Impact of the Accelerated Retreat of Glaciers in the Tropical Andean Region (PRAA) project, which is financed by the World Bank and the Washington D.C.-based Global Environment Facility.

They will allow scientists from Senamhi to study the retreat of the Huaytapallana glacier in Junin and Cuzco’s Salcantay glacier. The results of the study are intended to help them create plans for adapting to climate change in the regions.

Peru is home to some 70 percent of Earth’s tropical glaciers. The country’s glaciers, which feed hydroelectric plants and provide drinking water to Lima, the world’s second largest desert city after Cairo, Egypt, are in the process of accelerated meltdown due to global warming.

According to Peru’s National Resources Institute, or Inrena, the Andes Mountains have lost at least 22 percent of their glacier area since 1970.

The most glaring incident of glacial drop off in Peru occurred recently in Ancash region, where an ice block measuring approximately 500 meters by 200 meters broke off the Hualcán glacier and crashed into a lake causing a 23 meter wave that flooded local towns and damaged a potable water plant.

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