World leaders are meeting in Paris to hammer out a comprehensive climate deal.
The stakes couldn’t be higher: Nine of the ten warmest years on record have occurred since 2000, according to NASA.
This issue is especially pressing in Patagonia, the sparsely-populated and mountainous region straddling Argentina and Chile.
Glaciers — the lifeblood of Patagonia (and a major source of fresh water for the rest of the world) — are melting rapidly throughout the region, and the rate at which they are disappearing is only set to increase.
A 2012 study from the University of London surveyed 626 Patagonian glaciers using historical and satellite data. The authors found that 90.2% of them had receded since 1870, the first year data was available. Even more alarming, the pace at which the glaciers are shrinking is accelerating. The observed glaciers shrank twice as rapidly from 2001 to 2011, than from 1870 to 1986, according to the study’s authors.
Mario Tama, a photographer from Getty, spent a week at the end of November observing glaciers in Argentina’s famous Los Glaciares National Park. The images are striking and show just how much we stand to lose.
Patagonia's glaciers are melting rapidly. This ice melted from the Perito Moreno glacier (background).
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