I ghiacciai del Cile come indicatori dei cambiamenti climatici - Chilean Glaciers as indicators of climate change
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This work presents a summary of Chile’s present glacial environment and its most significant recent variations. Though the behaviour of some glaciers may be driven by non-climatic factors, the majority of them experienced a linear shrinkage and a generalized thinning as a result of both an increase of temperatures and a lower precipitations regime, as recorded by several meteo stations. The reduction of the area covered by glaciers has affected water availability in Chile’s North- Central region, where 70 % of river-flows originates from snow and ice melting, particularly in the driest summers. The continuation of the present trend is bound to produce a dramatic reduction of ice throughout the whole Country, the disappearance of Central Chile’s small glaciers and significantly increase the contribution of Patagonian glaciers to the global sea-level rise.