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Latin America and the Caribbean

30. The quick retreat of the Santa Rosa glacier ( Peru)

Several mountain glaciers now disappear at a frightening rate as in the Santa Rosa glacier of Peru.

A warmer climate often leads to increased precipitation. Much of the increased precipitation comes as rain instead of snow, mostly in the winter and to a lesser extent during the autumn and the spring. The winter rains fall existing snow, causing increased melting. As the ice and snow cover is reduced, the albedo of the area is reduced as well. Darker surfaces underneath are revealed, and since a dark surface can absorb more heat, the result is a self-reinforcing effect, which causes increased heating and subsequent melting.
(Houghton et al 2001
McCarthy et al 2001)