2013 Volume 7 Issue 2 Pages 18-22
We used Landsat satellite images to determine the areal change between 1988 and 2010 of the Condoriri glacier in Bolivia and found that the area decreased by 41% during that period. Moreover, the interannual pattern of recession and expansion of the glacier coincided with warm and cold phases of El Niño/La Niña-Southern Oscillation (ENSO), respectively. Because the glacier recedes more during El Niño events than it expands during La Niña events, the net result is a retreating trend, which, if it continues, means that the glacier will disappear completely by 2035. ENSO frequency increased during the latter part of the 20th century, and ENSO events may become more frequent with continued climate change. Therefore, it is urgent to take measures to adapt Bolivian water management to the loss of glacier meltwater.