Scientists warn that glaciers atop a Mexican volcano are melting at a far more rapid pace than previously believed and could disappear in four short years due to global warming. Currently dormant volcano Iztaccihuatl was once home to five glaciers, a number which has now dropped to three. It contains one of the world's few tropical glaciers and one of only two such glacial fields remaining in Mexico.
Dr. Hugo Delgado, glaciologist at Mexico City's National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) believes that the current rapid pace of melting ice will render all to be gone by 2015. Commenting on previous estimates that the glacier would last several decades, he stated, “What we've seen at Iztaccihuatl is an intense period of glacial retreat in the last few years, which has changed the picture.”
The glaciers' thickest point is now only around 10 meters, down from 90 meters measured in the past. Snowfalls are also noted to be ever rarer on the 5,200-meter peak, with vegetation that now grows at higher altitudes. As is the case elsewhere in the world, Mexico's disappearing glaciers spell trouble for populations and agriculture that depend on the annual snow melt for drinking water and hydropower.
Our appreciation, Dr. Delgado and colleagues, for your work that raises awareness on the rapid decline of the unique Iztaccihuatl glacier field. May we quickly act in all ways necessary to reverse climate change, thus preserving our beautiful planet and her diverse inhabitants.
Speaking during a March 2009 videoconference in Mexico, Supreme Master Ching Hai addressed humanity's urgent need to adopt the most eco-conducive lifestyles to halt such dangerous glacier retreat and save the Earth.