Dramatic changes across the ice fields of southern Chile • Earth.com

Dramatic changes across the ice fields of southern Chile

11-01-2021

Today’s Video of the Day from the USGS describes how the ice fields of southern Chile have changed dramatically over the past three decades.

Landsat images reveal that the Erasmo Glacier retreated by three kilometers from 1987 to 2015. During this time frame, the end of the glacier shifted by about 4.3 kilometers. The melting glacial ice formed a proglacial lake that was cluttered with icebergs. By 2021, the water appears to be ice-free.

Chile is particularly vulnerable to climate change, with coastal storms becoming more frequent and intense. Average temperatures are expected to increase by as much as five degrees Celsius in Chile by the end of this century.

According to a recent report from World Bank, temperatures will continue to increase in Chile throughout the end of the century, regardless of the emissions scenario.

Video Credit: USGS

By Chrissy Sexton, Earth.com Staff Writer

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