Tag / Chile

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  • Photo Friday: Monitoring Chile’s Volcanoes

    Currently, three volcanoes in Chile are restless, according to the Servicio Nacional de Geología y Minería. A “class yellow” status for these glacier-covered peaks means elevated seismic activity and higher potential for eruption. The ice caps on these giants mean that an eruption could spur Jökulhlaups, glacial outburst floods that can be extremely dangerous, such as in…

  • The Pascua-Lama Mining Project Threatens Glaciers

    Fabiana Li, an associate professor in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Manitoba, brings new insight to a long-standing conflict over a South American mining project in her recently published article “Moving Glaciers: Remaking Nature and Mineral Extraction” on Sage Journals. Li’s article investigates the controversial Pascua-Lama mining project, located on the border…

  • Flooding Glacial Lakes in Chile

    It is a peaceful experience to walk near the glacial lake near Colonia Glacier, one of several prominent glacier lakes in Patagonia, Chile. The breeze on the lake helps you relax as you look out on the distant glaciers. In such a tranquil setting, it is hard to imagine that a glacial lake outburst flood…

  • Studying Microclimate in Central Chile

    For map geeks, especially geographers and cartographers, it might be of interest to know about an overlooked peculiarity in Chilean maps. Unlike other countries, perhaps with the exception of Argentina, topographic and nautical charts use the words “glaciar” and “ventisquero” to refer to a glacier or zone filled with perennial snow (see an example for…

  • Photo Friday: Forest Fires Rage on Glacier-Covered Peaks in Chile

    Chile is experiencing the worst forest fires in the country’s history after years of drought.  The fires are currently spanning roughly 104,800 hectares or 400 square miles, burning mountains that also harbor glaciers. For example, Mount Llaima, located in Conguillio National Park in the Andes, is covered in glaciers and caught up in the fires. Mitigation efforts…

  • Toxic Algal Blooms: Expert Adaptors to Climate Change

    Most people think of algae as the bothersome green stuff that grows on the tops of ponds and needs to be removed from the inside of fish tanks, but algae also provides clues about the environment. The response of Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs) to climate change, for example, provides evidence that some algae are extremely…

  • Does Glacier Retreat Promote Invasive Species?

    A recent study suggests that glacier reatreat may contribute to spread of a noxious invasive algae species in Chile. The particular species is a kind of algae, Didymosphenia geminata, commonly called “didymo.” Since this microscopic organism, a kind of planktom, forms thick dense mats that coat rocks, it is also known as “rock snot.” Vivián Montecino…

  • Activists Say Chilean Glacier Protection Law Falls Short

    A recent incident shows the importance of a social movement in shaping a glacier protection law in Chile. Representatives from indigenous and environmental groups testified in April that the draft law— which designates glaciers as protected areas and limits activities that can damage them— has glaring loopholes that would leave  glaciers and the people who depend…

  • Why Didn’t These Two Glacier Countries Sign the Paris Accord?

    Earth Day, April 22, marked a major step forward in global efforts to address climate change when 175 parties gathered in New York to sign the Paris Agreement, the accord that had been adopted last December. The ceremony at the United Nations Headquarters marked the historical record for first-day signatures on an international agreement.  This…

  • Why Didn’t These Two Glacier Countries Sign the Paris Agreement?

    Earth Day, April 22, marked a major step forward in global efforts to address climate change when 175 parties gathered in New York to sign the Paris Agreement, the accord that had been adopted last December. The ceremony at the United Nations Headquarters marked the historical record for first-day signatures on an international agreement.  This…