Development & Aid, Environment, Tierramerica - Ecobrief

Ecobreves – VENEZUELA: Glaciers Disappear

CARACAS, Apr 28 2008 (IPS) - The glaciers of Venezuela's Sierra Nevada mountains, more than 4,800 meters above sea level, lost 94 of their total 137 hectares in 30 years and will disappear by 2020, says Angel Viloria, of the governmental Venezuelan Institute of Scientific Research. “Global warming, pollution and construction are the causes of the shrinking of those glaciers,” ecologist Yves Lesenfants, head of the ecotourist Tropical Andes Program, told Tierramérica.

The western city of Mérida, at the foot of the Sierra Nevada, “already has traffic jams, and in the entire area the green zones that absorbed energy are giving way to construction of more homes, patios, streets, with an impact on climate,” he said.

The glaciers least exposed to the sun survive, while on the mountaintops the perpetual snows of the Venezuelan Andes are melting.

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