Aerial view of the extinct Ayoloco glacier, recently declared as disappeared in the Iztaccíhuatl volcano (Mexico) by scientists from the National Autonomous University of Mexico.UNAM / COURTESY
At 4,626 meters, at the top of the Iztaccíhuatl volcano, there is hardly any ice left.
Instead, a group of researchers from the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) has placed a plaque on Thursday: "The Ayoloco glacier existed here and it receded until it disappeared in 2018."
The gesture, which formally dismisses the Ayoloco, is symbolic, but it is part of the experts' concern for the accelerated disappearance of glaciers in Mexico.
Thaw due to global warming reveals treasures hidden for thousands of years
The agony of glaciers in the 'middle of the world'
Experts have climbed to the peak of the so-called sleeping woman to commemorate, on Earth Day, the loss of one of the country's most emblematic glaciers. The director of the Institute of Geophysics of the UNAM, Hugo Delgado Granados, was in charge of reading the message and launching the warning: “In the coming decades, the Mexican glaciers will irretrievably disappear. This plaque is to record that we knew what was happening and what needed to be done. Only you will know if we did it. "
Delgado explained that one of the most relevant consequences of the disappearance of the glacier is the impact on access to water, especially for the communities that live near the volcano.
Without the large masses of ice in the upper mountains, the temperature increases and inhibits precipitation.
"This loss will have a definitive impact on the course of the water, the flora and the fauna as it is on these peaks where the liquid originates," lamented the geologist.
Hugo Delgado Granados, researcher at the Institute of Geophysics and Anel Pérez Martínez, director of Literature and Promotion of Reading of the Coordination of Cultural Diffusion of UNAM, place a plaque to declare the Ayoloco glacier extinct. UNAM / Courtesy
Experts had been warning for years of the reduction of the permanent ice mass of the Ayoloco, which was decreasing in size as temperatures increased due to human activity and climate change. In Iztaccíhuatl, where previously there were 11 glacial areas, now there are only five left: one on the chest, another on the belly - where the Ayoloco was found - and three in the southeast. “At any moment the remaining ice can melt. They are close to the limit, ”Delgado warned last year in an interview. In Mexico, glaciers began to disappear in the 20th century, but the deterioration has accelerated in the last two decades.
Delgado has taken advantage of the act to emphasize that not preserving the environment has direct consequences on citizens. “If we don't take care of our planet, it will continue to exist; those who are not going to continue to exist are us. To the extent that we protect it, we will have the possibility of giving a better world to those who follow us, to our children ”, said the mountaineer, who has documented the retreat of glaciers during the last 40 years as a symptom of melting and warming global.
"This is not a plaque of honor, it is a plaque of dishonor, of the shame that it gives us, not climate change, but the climate emergency," said Anel Pérez Martínez, from the Coordination of Cultral Dissemination of the UNAM, who He was accompanying Delgado and the group of volcanologists at the glacier's funeral.
In this land of volcanoes, Pérez, Director of Literature, recalled that mountains are geological facts "but they are also cultural facts", since there is a "religious, spiritual, emotional, economic and, of course, historical relationship with the landscape. ”.
of EL PAÍS México and receive all the informative keys of the current situation of this country