33 Synoptic- and Meso-Scale Weather Patterns associated with the Rapid Glacier Loss Across the Semi-Arid Chilean Andes

Thursday, 7 June 2018
Aspen Ballroom (Grand Hyatt Denver)
Sam Ng, Metropolitan State University, Denver, CO; and J. Janke, A. Bellisario, and S. Reichlin

Snow and ice stored in the semi-arid Andes of central Chile are a vital water resource for sustainable agriculture, economic development, and consumptive use. A recent drought (since 2010) has created an unforeseen pressure on the region. The majority of water comes from melting snow, glaciers, debris-covered glaciers, and rock glaciers supplied to rivers. In the past, glaciers have compensated for low snowfall totals by proving late-season water resources; however, reduced snowpack and accelerated melting has placed additional pressure on glaciers and has raised important questions about the sustainability of agricultural and urban development in nearby major cities such as Santiago and Valparaíso. In-situ instruments were installed in the upper- catchment near glaciers contributing to the Aconcagua River to collect atmospheric data. Here, we examine the local- and large-scale weather patterns that are impacting the glacier mass loss.
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