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In Peru's southern Andes, the La Nina means a worsening drought — now its residents face the reality of climate change

In Peru's southern Andes, the La Nina means a worsening drought — now its residents face the reality of climate change

In Peru's southern Andes, the La Nina means a worsening drought — now its residents face the reality of climate change
Dec 03, 2022 1 min, 15 secs

In Peru's southern Andes, the La Nina means a worsening drought — now its residents face the reality of climate change.

From her home under the baking sun of Peru's southern Andes, Vilma Huamaní can see the small Cconchaccota lagoon, the axis of her community's life.

The rainy season in this part of South America should have started in September, but the area is experiencing its driest period in almost a half century, affecting more than 3,000 communities in the central and southern Andes of Peru.

"Every day, I ask — I hope — the rain falls … when there is rain the grasses grow, the potatoes [grow]," says Ms Huamaní, 38, who moved with her four children from Peru's capital, Lima, to Cconchaccota in 2020 in an effort to flee the coronavirus pandemic.

The absence of rain in part of the Andes occurs as a result of the La Niña phenomenon, present in 2022 for the third consecutive year, according to the United Nations' meteorological agency.

The Andes is one of the world's most sensitive regions to climate migrations because of droughts, tropical storms and hurricanes, heavy rains and floods, according to the latest report by the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

"Global warming has caused glacier loss in the Andes from 30 per cent to more than 50 per cent of their area since the 1980s," the report says, adding summer rainfall appears to be decreasing in the southern Andes.

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