Mountains in Peru, Italy Falling Apart; Global Warming to Blame

Global warming is destroying some of the world’s tallest and most stunning mountains. In Peru, the glaciers capping 18 peaks in the Andes are melting, and if “climatic conditions remain as they are, all the glaciers below 18,000 feet will disappear by around 2015,” said Patricia Iturregui, president of Peru’s National Environment Council. Already 20 percent of the 1,615 miles of glaciers running through the central and south Peruvian Andes have been lost. Not only does this threaten the tourism that sustains the country’s fragile economy, but mud slides and avalanches threaten climbers and entire villages. Meanwhile, in Italy, peaks in the famed Dolomites are collapsing due to “thermoclastic” erosion, whereby water melts and seeps into fissures in the rock and then freezes and expands, cracking the rock — a process accelerated by the freakishly fluctuating temperatures and severe storms in Italy of late.