Roundup: Peruvian Climate, Tibetan Lakes, and Greenland’s Glaciers

Roundup: Peru, Tibet and Greenland


Project to Improve Climate Services in Peru

From Climate Services: “CLIMANDES is a pilot twinning project between the National Weather Services of Peru and Switzerland (SENAMHI and MeteoSwiss), developed within the Global Framework for Climate Services of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). Split in two modules, CLIMANDES aims at improving education in meteorology and climatology in support of the WMO Regional Training Center in Peru, and introducing user-tailored climate services in two pilot regions in the Peruvian Andes… The efforts accomplished within CLIMANDES improved the quality of the climate services provided by SENAMHI.”

Read more about CLIMANDES here.

Landscape of the Peruvian Andes from behind walls of Machu Piccu (Source: Mariano Mantel/Creative Commons).


Monitoring Lake Levels on the Tibetan Plateau

From Journal of Hydrology: “Lakes on the Tibetan Plateau (TP) are of great interest due to their value as water resources but also as an important indicator of climate change. However, in situ data in this region are extremely scarce and only a few lakes have gauge measurements… In this study, Cryosat-2 SARIn mode data over the period 2010–2015 are used to investigate recent lake level variations… Lakes in the northern part of the TP experienced pronounced rising (avg. 0.37 ± 0.10 m/yr), while lakes in southern part were steady or decreasing even in glaciated basins with high precipitation… These results demonstrate that lakes on the TP are still rapidly changing under climate change, especially in northern part of the TP, but the driving factors are variable and more research is needed.”

Learn more about climate change on the Tibetan Plateau here.

Aerial view of lakes of the Tibetan Plateau (Source: Stuart Rankin/Creative Commons).


Data Portal to Study Greenland’s Ice Sheet

From Eos: “A new web-based data portal gives scientists access to more than 40 years of satellite imagery, providing seasonal to long-term insights into outflows from Greenland’s ice sheet… This portal harnesses more than 37,000 images from Landsat archives, dating back to the early 1970s, to track changes in outlet glaciers over time… Through analyzing data from this portal, we can see in great detail how several outlet glaciers are speeding up their treks to the sea. What’s more, any user can access the data to conduct their own studies of glacier behavior at Greenland’s coasts through time.”

Read more about Greenland’s retreating glaciers here:

Aerial view of coastal Greenland glacier (Source: Terry Feuerborn/Creative Commons).
Aerial view of a coastal Greenland glacier (Source: Terry Feuerborn/Creative Commons).

Photo Friday: Quyllur Rit’i – Eulogy for Glaciers

In the ancient Andes, high mountains were worshiped for their power of controlling the weather as well as crop productivity. Moreover, Andean people honored these mountains as being the origin of their culture, the home of powerful spirits, and the linkage between the Earth and sky. Hence, it is not surprising that they hold ceremonies every year to show their respect to those mythical giants. In fact, more than 50 ceremonial sites have been found near high mountains by archaeologists.

The shrine of Quyllur Rit’i is located in the Sinakara valley in the Cusco Region of Peru, at which the spiritual and religious Star Snow Festival is held every year. It is close to Ausungate peak, which is over 20,000 ft.

Catholic pilgrimages began since 1783 when a local shepherd boy encountered a mysterious white youth, who appears to be the child Christ based on the legend. The festival is held in mid-June and on September 14. Over 10,000 pilgrims as well as tourists will gather at the site annually, even though Quyllur Rit’i is quite difficult to reach. After all, it is a valuable opportunity to enjoy spectacular ritual dance.

Here are some photographs of the Quyllur Rit’i. Read more about the festival here.

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