IWRA World Water Congress 2008 Montpellier France
3. Climate Change and Disasters
White Andes Cordillera, Climate
changing effects, Inventory, Glaciers, Lakes,
The tropical glaciers, and specially those situated at the White Cordillera,
considered as the highest and widest world tropical glaciers, are most sensitive indicators of the climate changing
effects , and have been badly affected by an accelerated process since half of the seventies.
The National Natural
Resources Institute, through the Glaciology and Water Resources Unit , supported by the IRD Great Ice Research
Dept, is drawing up a new National Inventory of the high Andean lakes and glaciers, which has begun by the White
Cordillera, letting us know the present situation and the estimation of the strength of the glacier regression speed
process, whose translated consequences in water resources have a negative impact in the development of the
consumption activities as irrigation, water power, mining, etc.
In this new inventory, mainly technical remote
sensing images to process satellite images Spot 5 (2003) and Landsat 7 (2002) are been used . Its results are
compared with topographic verifications in situ.
According to the inventory works made in 1970 (Inventory of
Glaciers in Perou – Hydrology and Glaciology Unit – HIDRANDINA S.A.) and the National Ambience Council
(CONAM 1997), the glaciers surfaces areas of the White Cordillera have been reduced of 111,89 Km2 (15,46 %).
In the present estate of the inventory it is clearly showed that glaciers have been affected by a quick and significant
reduction on their areas and volumes. Consequently, new lakes have been formed. The new inventory allows the
verification of the impact of the global climate changes in the tropical glaciers, by the estimation of the solid water
supplies and, possibly, take the right decisions in the matter of glacier risk.