Climate Change Induced Glacier Retreat and Risk Management: Glacial Lake Outburst Floods (GLOFs) in the Apolobamba Mountain Range, Bolivia, by Hoffmann, D., & Weggenmann, D., in Climate Change and Disaster Risk Management.
Abstract: Due to global warming, tropical glaciers in the Bolivian Andes have lost about half of their volume and surface area since 1975. Throughout the Apolobamba mountain range, the retreat of glaciers has resulted in the formation of small and medium-sized lakes on the glacier terminus. Many of the glacial lakes are contained only by loose moraine debris: thus they can pose a significant threat to human settlements and infrastructure downstream. Considering the fact that the Cordillera de Apolobamba holds the largest continuous glaciated area in Bolivia, which measured 220 km² in the 1980s, there is a legitimate concern regarding the dangers that might affect this mountain region. Yet there is no documentation available on glacial lakes in the Apolobamba mountain range; indeed there is little awareness of the related risks. Only recently has glacial retreat, and climate change impacts in general, been given some importance in the planning and management of the Apolobamba National Protected Area for Integrated Management, thereby opening a discussion on natural hazard threats and the development of adaptation strategies with the objective of minimising risks for human populations and local infrastructure. This paper presents documentation of glacier retreat and the forming of glacial lakes in the Cordillera of Apolobamba over the last 35 years. In addition, the risk potential of glacial lake outburst floods and the risk awareness of the local population will be analysed in relation to park management options, and ideas outlined for more detailed studies of glacial lake outburst floods in Bolivia.
Bolivia, uno de los países con mayor deforestación (Bolivia, one of the countries with the highest rate of deforestation), La Razon, November 18.
Adaptation, Adaptation, Adaptation; Migration, Climate Change and National Adaptation Plans in South America, by Elizabeth Warn, Migration – The big issue, November 13.
This article discusses the response of South American countries to climate change, and argues that migration should be thought of as an adaptation strategy. Migration is generally viewed as a failure to adapt, rather than being seen as a method of adaptation. However, the national strategies of some countries in the region do just this. One example is the Bolivian National Mechanism for Adaptation to Climate Change (MNACC) which mentions five specific adaptation measures, of which two refer to migration: one is to “plan the migration flows of rural populations to guarantee the generation of opportunities”, and the other is to “determine the causes of temporary and permanent migration to guarantee the sustainability and the process of new human settlements”.
Global deforestation: 10 hot spots on Google Earth – in pictures, by Adam Vaughan, The Guardian Environment Blog, November 15.
An analysis of 650,000 satellite images has revealed the extent of the loss and recovery of forestland over the world. Bolivia is one of the deforestation “hot spots”, with soya production and cattle ranching being two of the primary causes.
* This bulletin is intended for scientists, practitioners and others who are interested in climate change issues in Bolivia. Every care is taken to include all the relevant works published in the previous month, however, should you be aware of any research that has been accidentally overlooked, please email a link to email@example.com