Climate change blamed for missing lake

Jul 05, 2007

Scientists with Chile's Center of Scientific Studies have blamed climate change for the disappearance of a lake.

Center glaciologist Andres Rivera said that during the last two months, the changing climate played a significant role in the destruction of a five-acre glacial lake in Chile's Magallanes region, the BBC reported Wednesday.

Rivera, who visited the lake's former location Monday, said rising temperatures likely caused area glaciers to melt, and they in turn added pressure to a natural dam next to the lake.

The ice wall ultimately gave way under the stress and all of the lake's water then entered a nearby fjord and followed it out to sea.

While the lake appears to be regaining water, Rivera said the natural incident was representative of the impact on the region's glaciers by climate change.

"This confirms that glaciers in the region are retreating and getting thinner," he told the BBC. "This would not be happening if the temperature had not increased."

Copyright 2007 by United Press International

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