Gigglebit: Peru’s Quelccaya ice cap from space (photo)

28 Nov 2014

Quelccaya ice cap, Peru. Image via KARI/ESA

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The European Space Agency (ESA) has released a photo shot from way above by the Korea Aerospace Research Institute’s Kompsat-2 satellite of Peru’s Quelccaya ice cap, the largest in the tropics.


Resting high up in the Cordillera Orientalof the Peruvian Andes, rising temperatures have been shrinking the ice cap, the ESA said. The ice cap has lost more than 20pc of its area since the 1970s.


“Downstream communities rely on this water source for drinking and electricity in this dry region, but some estimates show that the ice cap will vanish in a matter of decades, draining the water supply for millions of people,” the ESA said.


In the far upper-left corner of the image is the Qori Kalis Glacier, the ice cap’s main outlet.


Vegetation, which grows mainly in the valleys and along the paths of water runoff, appear as bright red in the false-colour image, the ESA said.


Here is the image in its entirety:



Tina Costanza was a journalist and sub-editor at Silicon Republic