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Mexico Glacier

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Submitted By Jaakko88
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Mexico glacier melting quickly due to global warming
Mexico, Feb 15 (Reuters) - Glaciers that crown a Mexican volcano could disappear by 2015 with scientists pointing to global warming as a chief cause of their demise.
Until recently, the glacial field on Iztaccihuatl, a dormant volcano and one of two white-capped peaks that can be seen from Mexico City, was expected to be gone within a few decades. Like in 2007 scientists said that the glacier is supposed to disappear in 2020.
But studies show rising world temperatures are melting the glaciers faster than previously thought, said Hugo Delgado, a glaciologist at Mexico City's UNAM university who thinks the massive blocks of ice will be gone within four years.
"What we've seen at Iztaccihuatl is an intense period of glacial retreat in the last few years, which has changed the picture," Delgado said. Scientists generally believe global warming is caused by large amounts of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere when fossil fuels are burned. Heat radiating from the sprawling, concrete-covered metropolis of Mexico City nearby is also contributing to the disappearance of the glaciers.
Iztaccihuatl has one of two glacial fields left in Mexico, which are among the world's few tropical glaciers. Glaciers in the tropics can only exist on the cold peaks of tall mountains and are much smaller than their cousins closer to the poles.
The number of glaciers on Iztaccihuatl has reduced from five to three. The thickest was originally about 90 meters in depth, now it is 10 meters at most. Glacial melt in the tropics could hit farmers and cities across Latin America by reducing water availability and hydropower generation.
Main Points
* Mexico glaciers to disappear by 2015
* Melting faster than previously thought on global warming
* Mexico home to rare tropical glaciers
* Melting could hit farmers and cities by reducing water availability and hydropower


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