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Topic: Quelccaya Ice Cap in Peru retreating fast, 1600 years' of ice melts in 25 yrs< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
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GoBlueHiker Search for posts by this member.
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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 05 2013, 11:29 am  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

From the New York Times, about a new paper in Science:

Ice That Took 1,600 Years to Form in Peru's Andes Melts in Only 25, Scientists Say

QUOTE
The evidence comes from a remarkable find at the margins of the Quelccaya ice cap in Peru, the world’s largest tropical ice sheet. Rapid melting there in the modern era is uncovering plants that were locked in a deep freeze when the glacier advanced many thousands of years ago.
...

Several years ago, the team reported on plants that had been exposed near a meltwater lake. Chemical analysis showed them to be about 4,700 years old, proving that the ice cap had reached its smallest extent in nearly five millenniums.

In the new research, a thousand feet of additional melting has exposed plants that laboratory analysis shows to be about 6,300 years old. The simplest interpretation, Dr. Thompson said, is that ice that accumulated over approximately 1,600 years melted back in no more than 25 years.

“If any time in the last 6,000 years these plants had been exposed for any five-year period, they would have decayed,” Dr. Thompson said. “That tells us the ice cap had to be there 6,000 years ago.”


The slider at the top of the page shows the 1978 vs 2011 outlet glacier extent.  I'm not surprised.  I've been disoriented on similar small ice caps up in SE Alaska because the maps (made decades ago) didn't match up at all with the rapid decline of the glaciers presently.

Full story in the link.  Full paper here in Science, if you have access: Journal of Science

Just FYI, for anyone interested.

- Mike


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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 05 2013, 11:55 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Jaw dropping...and not in a good way.

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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 05 2013, 2:31 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Pretty intense pictures.

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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 05 2013, 9:07 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Wow!  Interesting stuff.  Thanks for the link.

Rumi


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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 05 2013, 10:03 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Very sad.  I was once quite lost atop a small peak in WA state, as it had a lake below the summit, and no glacier in sight--clearly we had managed to climb the wrong mountain.

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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 05 2013, 10:33 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE


(RebeccaD @ Apr. 05 2013, 7:03 pm)
QUOTE
Very sad.  I was once quite lost atop a small peak in WA state, as it had a lake below the summit, and no glacier in sight--clearly we had managed to climb the wrong mountain.

Yep!  I once came to a pass and was all prepared for ice and ... nothing!  

Rumi


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