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Glacial Loss

Tropical Glaciers

Few glaciers near the Equator, such as the northern Andes and East Africa can survive even today’s 1°C. Some of these were shrinking anyway after the last ice age; but global warming has speeded their disappearance by many centuries. Glaciers and snow in the northern Andes provided a reliable seasonal source of water, and their loss especially will impact rural populations in Peru and Chile.


Mid-latitude glaciers and Snow

Mid-latitude glaciers and snow in the Alps, southern Andes/Patagonia, Iceland, Scandinavia, New Zealand and North American Rockies can survive at 1.5°, but these glaciers will disappear almost entirely at 2°C, and snow cover decrease. For these glaciers and mountain snowpack, that half a degree spells the difference between sufficient seasonal water supply, such as in the American West, Tarim and Indus river basins; and water scarcity

Himalayas/Central Asia

The essential watersheds of the Himalayas/Central Asia at 1.5°C maintain around half to about twothirds of their ice. At 2°C, much more will be lost, with regional impacts on water supply and increasing political instability, especially as monsoon rains become far more unpredictable at 2°C as well.


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