The impact of climate change on tropical glaciers in Bolivia:
This chapter analyses the situation of Bolivian glaciers, which all belong to the category of Tropical Glaciers, making them extremely vulnerable to variations of the climate. As in the other central Andean countries, since the early 1980s global warming has led to an accelerated retreat of these glaciers.
The consequences of this rapid melting of glaciers are mainly on the hydrological cycle and the ecosystems of high Andean regions, but water availability of the metropolitan area La Paz-El Alto is also affected.
However, the warning sign arising from melting glaciers due to the impacts of global warming is likely more important than their actual physical relevance. Even if the world should be successful in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, the majority of Bolivia´s glaciers cannot be saved anymore. Only for glaciers with an accumulation area in the range of 6,000 m.a.s.l., will drastic emissions reductions enable a partial survival into the 22nd century.