Internationally renowned glaciologist Dr. Bernard Francou of the Institute of Research for Development (IRD) (Institut de Recherche pour le Développement) in France has been studying the glaciers of the Andes Mountains for more than 20 years.
Knowing firsthand of their rapid melt, he stated in a recent interview that if the climate warming of the past decades continues, it will be fatal for many of the Andes glaciers. Up to the early 20th century, the permanent snow line in the Andes Mountains had been stable at around 4,750 meters above sea level, receding to 4,950 meters by 1975.
However, with recently accelerated melt rates, the 2010 snow line has retreated to 5,100 meters, with glaciers throughout Ecuador, Bolivia, Peru and Colombia having lost between 30 and 40% of their volume in the past 35 years.
With the glaciers’ disappearance comes major water supply problems for the region. Understanding the urgency of climate change, Dr. Francou has a simple message: “… The climate is our responsibility! We have to do everything we can to reverse this trend... Each person, from where they can.”
Dr. Francou and Institute of Research for Development colleagues, we are grateful for your dedicated study and call to action. Let us quickly join in doing everything possible through our lifestyle choices to cool the planet. Speaking in concern for humanity’s welfare, Supreme Master Ching Hai discussed the Andean glaciers during a September 2009 conference in Peru, with a suggestion for how to directly resolve both the regional and global problem of ice melt.