Of the many indicators that specialists take into account to study climatic variations and their persistence are permanent ice . They do it in distant lands, usually very cold such as the polar areas.
But they also look, and a lot, in the variability of the glaciers that still resist in the great mountains. It is not necessary to go to Kilimanjaro, which various scientific investigations assure that it will lose its perpetual snows in a few years, which have lasted for almost 12,000 years, to verify that the global climate is warmer.
And of course, not only is the deglaciation observed throughout the world serious, but at the rate that it is occurring. By the summer of 2019, National Geographic released an SOS forthe alarming reduction of Himalayan glaciers in the last 40 years, which amounted to about 45 vertical cm per year between 2000 and 2016, double what it did during the previous 25 years.
What to say about the Perito Moreno , of whom many scientists fear that it will not be long before no one travels to see his thunderous demolitions. Located in the National Park of the Glaciers, there in the southern Argentine Andes, an enclave for which a new name will have to be thought of as it will soon house hardly any permanent mass of fossil ice.
The Perito Moreno glacier is a thick mass of ice located in the Lago Argentino department of the Santa Cruz province. (GTRES)
Much closer to us, in the Pyrenees, things are not going any better.Recent research predicts that in a few decades they will lose one of their defining qualities: being the guardians of time past, from when the ice ages dominated much of Europe.
The studies carried out by several Spanish universities and the IPE (Pyrenean Institute of Ecology) have found that since 1850, when 52 Pyrenean glaciers were counted that represented an area of more than 2,000 ha, they have decreased to only 19 frozen masses and occupy about 250 ha.
In a scientific meeting a few days ago, the researcher López Moreno reported a follow-up of his team that could affirm that in 2020 they barely exceeded 200 ha, they had lost 13% in four years. Of those that once existed in other high places in the great mountains of Spain, only old photographs remain.
As the alerts are old, a few decades ago a Master Plan for the Use and Management of the Natural Monuments of the Pyrenean Glaciers, protected since 1990, was drawn up.
But expert science considers it almost impossible to protect, despite the occupation restrictions already dictated, since to save them completely it would be necessary to change the climate.
For this reason, they propose actions to highlight their interest for society, that values them more and perhaps direct their daily practices to mitigate climate change. They could be used as an icon in mass awareness.
The disappearance of the Pyrenean glaciersIt has led to the formation of small high mountain lakes – they are called ibones there. Quite a few don’t even have names yet. These “baby lakes” as scientists call them are magnificent laboratories for studying the simplest life known (phytoplankton, zooplankton or early algae).
But in addition, they keep remains of the atmospheric pollution of the last 3,000 years in southern Europe, because the particles expanded by the air travel very far with the winds, according to an investigation led by the CSIC (Higher Council for Scientific Research), in the The Ciemat (Center for Energy, Environmental and Technological Research) and the IGME (Geological and Mining Institute of Spain) have also participated.
Therefore, Scientists demand the consideration of these lakes as repositories of science and places of contemplation, excluding their use as places of recreation. Otherwise, a rich geological and life sequence will have been lost.
It would be convenient to read The Library of Ice by the Scottish poet Nancy Canmpbell, where she expresses her vision of the relationship of the human being with the mystery of the glacial. She herself advises reading quickly because contemplation will not be there forever.
For the smallest people, the series of films Ice Age , (The Age of Ice), are already several, where metaphors are touched and realities are guessed of what the disappearance of the frozen masses may be. They are worth seeing and discussing as a family. Perhaps raise questions about migratory needs and other adventures that humanity has raised as a collective.
Definitely, glacial clocks advance that it is outrageous. Bad business. Its machinery depends on global temperature, the more it grows, the faster its complex mechanisms will jam or explode, run over by runaway energy.
We resist believing that society as a whole does not find alternatives to mitigate the climate change it causes; not even from the assessment of the beauty of the extraordinary.