30% less precipitation in Central Andes future

August 18, 2015

Seasonal water shortages already occur in the Central Andes of Peru and Bolivia. By the end of the century, precipitation could fall by 30% according to an international team of researchers led by the University of Zurich. In a first for this region, the team compared current climate data with future climate scenarios and data extending back to pre-Inca times.

The trend towards greater aridity in the Andes is unambiguous,” explains UZH glaciologist Christian Huggel. Moreover, other factors such as the deforestation of the Amazon rainforest and lower levels of glacial meltwater could exacerbate the trend.

According to Christian Huggel, there is therefore an urgent need to introduce affordable and low-risk measures that will adapt the region to the new climate conditions. Peruvian-Swiss projects are testing such measures, which include, for example, the collection of rainwater in artificial ponds. “The results of the basic research are coming at just the right time for deliberations on the dimensions of such ponds,” concludes Christian Huggel.

Glacier loss near Cuzco, 1930 – 2009

Andes glaciers shrinking

 

For the full article, see:  University of Zurich. “Up to 30 percent less precipitation in the Central Andes in future.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 17 August 2015. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/08/150817110902.htm>.

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