Ecuador Is Seen Losing Its Glaciers to Global Warming
QUITO, Ecuador Global warming is melting Ecuador's cherished mountain glaciers and could cause several of them to disappear over the next two decades, Ecuadorean and French scientists said this week.
The country's cone-shaped Cotopaxi volcano, towering at 19,347 feet, lost 31 percent of its ice cover from 1976 to 1997, according to a study by Ecuador's Meteorology Institute and France's scientific research institute IRD.
Other volcanoes such as El Altar could entirely lose their glaciers over the next 10 to 20 years, scientists said in a presentation to journalists.
That could mark the end of Ecuador's Avenue of the Volcanoes, a striking strip of ice-capped mountains that is a favorite among tourists to the Andean nation.
It could also threaten the drinking water supply to Ecuador's main cities, such as capital Quito, which depends on snow-covered mountains for 80 percent of its water source.