BUENOS AIRES – Argentina has 16,968 glaciers, the government announced on Tuesday during the presentation of the first official nation-wide study on these ice fields.
“We can now satisfactorily say that we have fulfilled our legal obligation and that we have established the state of the environment ... that provides us with a first level, a beginning, to further explore this glacier inventory,” Minister of the Environment Sergio Bergman told reporters.
The presentation is the culmination of a 5-year-long project carried out by 10 institutions under the leadership of the Argentine Institute of Snow Science, Glaciology and Environmental Sciences (IANIGLA), which mapped 560,000 sq. km. (347,968 sq. mi.), roughly 20 percent of the country’s surface.
According to the study, Argentine glaciers cover 8,848 sq. km. (5,498 sq. mi.), nearly 41 times the surface of Buenos Aires.
The National Glacier Inventory seeks to identify and describe Argentina’s glaciers and periglacial landforms to help protect these crucial water reserves.
The study will allow the scientific community to know where Argentina’s glaciers are, what their surface is and what affects them, including human activities, climate change and natural phenomena.
Bergman recalled that the creation of this inventory was mandated by a 2010 law designed to help Argentina fulfill its sustainable development goals established in the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
Bergman responded to criticisms regarding the fact that the inventory only includes glaciers of more than one hectare (2.2 acres) by stating that the law does not establish size criteria, which is why IANIGLA used a minimum threshold that is often used around the world.