ICIMOD – The Mountain Institute International Workshop on Climate Change Adaptation in Mountains Nepal, 25-26 September 2011 Climate Change, GLOF risk and glacial lake monitoring in Cordillera Apolobamba, Bolivia Dirk Hoffmann Instituto Boliviano de la Montaña - BMI Bolivian Mountain Institute Preliminary considerations 1 rapid retreat of mountain glaciers is the most visible sign of global warming Preliminary considerations 2 what is happening with glaciers worldwide is probably also happening – silently and largely invisible to the majority of the people – to the ecosystems around the world Preliminary considerations 3 given the present rate of climate change, in 20 years´ time the world is likely to look very different than what we can now imagine Climate Change is a fact. Scientists are only debating the velocity and the magnitude of the impacts. Climate Change is a reality in the Bolivian Andes • Temperature, precipitation and humidity have changed considerably over last 50 years • Temperature increase is now about 0.3 C per decade • Temperature increase is higher at higher altitudes Global warming in mountain regions Source: Bradley et al. 2006 The 2-degrees target • The UN Climate Change Convention calls for limiting global warming to levels that do not interfere dangerously with the global climate system. • Political consensus: 2 degrees C as a limit • Reality: This is no more possible („warming in the pipeline“) • September 2009: Scientific conference in Oxford to discuss a world four degrees warmer (in 2100, compared to pre-industrial times) Global temperature 500 - 2100 IPCC, 2001 Global CO2 Emissions from Fossil Fuels What are the consequences for Bolivian glaciers? Glacier retreat in Bolivia • Due to global warming, the world’s tropical glaciers are retreating at an unprecedented rate. • The accelerated melting of glaciers - as in most parts of the world - commenced around 1980. • Tropical glaciers: Peru 70%, Bolivia 20%, Ecuador & Columbia 4%, rest of the world 1% • According to the World Glacier Monitoring Service (WGMS), Bolivia holds 566 km² of glaciated area (data from 80s). Direct visual impact Laguna Moro Kholla, Cordillera Real March 2007 October 2009 Photos: Hoffmann Glacier retreat in the Cordillera Real • The volume changes of 21 glaciers in the Cordillera Real have been determined between 1963 and 2006 using photogrammetric measurements. • From this relationship, the ice volume loss of 376 glaciers has been assessed in this region. • The results show that these glaciers lost 43% of their volume and 48% of their surface area between 1975 and 2006. Cordillera Real: 50 % reduction in surface area and volume over the last 35 years. Soruco, A., C. Vincent, B. Francou, and J. F. Gonzalez (2009), Glacier decline between 1963 and 2006 in the Cordillera Real, Bolivia, Geophys. Res. Lett., 36, L03502, doi:10.1029/2008GL036238. Huayna Potosí summit, 6.088m August 2003 October 2009 El ejemplo del Chacaltaya Izquierda: competencia de ski en los años 70 Derecha: el parche superior del Glaciar Chacaltaya, 2005 Glacier retreat across the tropical Andes 0 -200 -50000 -400 -100000 -600 -150000 antizana 15A antizana15b -800 -200000 yanam arey broggi -1000 -250000 pastoruri uruashraju -1200 Cajap -300000 Cumulative area evolution (m²) Cumulative length evolution (m) 0 Zongo (area) -1400 Charquini-S (area) -350000 Chacaltaya (area) -1600 1930 -400000 1940 1950 1960 1970 1980 1990 2000 Edson Ramírez, Instituto de Hidráulica e Hidrología (IHH) Glacial lakes and outburst floods • The recent forming of glacial lakes in the Andes dates from the end of the Little Ice Age (1550-1850), but has increased sharply in the 1980s. • GLOFs have been reported from Peru (e.g. Huaráz, 1941), the Himalayas and other high mountain regions of the world. • A first documented case for Bolivia occurred in the Keara watershed in the Cordillera Apolobamba in November 2009. The Keara GLOF incident, November 2009 All photos: Martín Apaza Ticona Apolobamba glacier lake inventory • Undertaken by Daniel Weggenmann, Heidelberg University • Following Huggel methodolgy: - using easily available satellite images - overview of all existing lakes - determination of age, size, volume, growth rates, material of dam, distance to glacier - classification according to risk potential - field visit to selected glacial lakes The Cordillera Apolobamba • Apolobamba mountain range accounts for about 7.5% of the world’s tropical glaciers. Yet, there is almost no documentation available on glacial retreat. The geographical setting: Apolobamba mountain range • Northernmost part of the Eastern branch of the Andean Cordillera in Bolivia; bordering with Peru • 120 km long • About 250 km northwest of La Paz and north of Lake Titicaca • One of the least explored and least accessible mountain ranges in the Andes • Various peaks higher than 5,500 m Apolobamba glacier area • Largest continuous glaciated area in Bolivia, with an extent of 220 km² (in the 1980s). Source: World Glacier Monitoring Service (WGMS) Source: Google Earth Glacier area loss in the Cordillera Apolobamba 1976 - 2009 Elaboration: R. Tarquino Glacier retreat in Cordillera Apolobamba 1976 - 2009 Elaboration: Rodrigo Tarquino Area loss more than 50% Satelite image of Apolobamba glaciers (Cololo region) Glacier lake Ulla Khaya Glacier lake Laguna Isquillani Results of glacier lake inventory • From 1986 – 2008 the number of contemporary glacier lakes went up from 174 to 216 • Total lake area grew by aprox. 2.5 km² • Information integrated in GIS data base • List of the potentially most dangerous lakes • Recommendations for future monitoring The Apolobamba Glacier Lake Inventory Daniel Weggenmann 2011 The participatory approach to glacial lake monitoring • Monitoring system of ANMIN Apolobamba, an essential tool of park managment. • Monitoring “by the people of the protected area”, i.e. park guards and local population. • Assistance from NGOs and university. • What is being monitored: Water bodies, glaciers, traditional types of potatoes, fauna, peat bogs (bofedales), climate, conflicts with wild life, mining, knowledge about traditional plants, tourism, project management, education, financial management... Apolobamba Protected Area Área Natural de Manejeo Integrado (ANMIN) • Declared in 1972 as National Reserve Ulla Ulla for the protection of the vicuna (240,000 ha). • Recognized as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in 1977. • Expanded to Apolobamba Natural Area for Integrated Management in 2000 (now 483,743 ha). • Altitudinal range from 800 to more than 6,000 metres. Photo: Hoffmann Map of Apolobamba Source: SERNAP Measuring high altitude lakes Institutional set-up University/Science Ecological Institute/UMSA, La Paz Oxford University, UK Heidelberg University, Germany State SERNAP – Protected Areas Administration Local population NGOs WCS – Wildlife Conservation Society BMI – Bolivian Mountain Institute Perspectives • Long term glacier and glacier lake monitoring as integral part of park management (SERNAP & local people) on the basis of thesis work and glacier lake inventory prepared by D. Weggenmann, Heidelberg University as part of thesis on GLOFs and risk management • Definition and implementation of adaptation measures (local people, municipalities, NGOs) • Continuing documentation and establishment of a Bolivian glacier archive (BMI) • Accompanying scientific work: - R. Tarquino, Instituto de Ecología: consequences of glacier retreat for park management - C.K. López, FLACSO Ecuador: water management by local indigenous communities www.climate2011.net Thank you for your attention! Instituto Boliviano de la Montaña - BMI Contact: dirk.hoffmann@bolivian-mountains.