Global Warming Could Devastate the Andes and Peru

Glacier melt hasn’t caused a national crisis in Peru, yet. But high in the Andes, rising temperatures and changes in water supply have decimated crops, killed fish stocks and forced entire villages to question how they will survive for another generation.

U.S. officials are watching closely because without quick intervention, they say, the South American nation could become an unfortunate case study in how climate change can destabilize a strategically important region and, in turn, create conditions that pose a national security threat to Americans thousands of miles away.

“Think what it would be like if the Andes glaciers were gone and we had millions and millions of hungry and thirsty Southern neighbors,” said former CIA Director R. James Woolsey. “It would not be an easy thing to deal with.”

Click on the video to hear from the Peruvian village of Utupampa about the impact of climate change in the Andes. Rising temperatures have caused mountain glaciers to melt, threatening the village’s water supply and survival.

This is how an article over at Global Warning – a project of the National Security Journalism Initiative – starts, written by Heather Somerville, a graduate student at Northwestern’s Medill School of Journalism, perusing a Masters of Science in Journalism.

The piece is important and telling, looking into the social ramifications of global warming and what we could lose if nothing is done to halt the process.

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