Argentina’s Ventisquero Negro glacier in the province of Río Negro.
It’s official: Argentina has 16,968 glaciers, and collectively they cover 8,484 square kilometers (3,276 sq. miles) in the country’s portion of the Andean mountain chain. These are among the figures that emerged in Argentina’s first-ever nationwide inventory of its glaciers, a study which was ordered in 2010 under the terms of a glacier-conservation law. Formally issued on May 15, the inventory is intended as a tool to help determine where upland mining and other destructive activities should be curbed to ensure protection of glacial and periglacial areas. But the study’s unveiling, amid considerable fanfare by the government of President Mauricio Macri, was overshadowed by an ongoing court challenge to the inventory and criticism of it from Argentina’s leading environmental groups. Also stirring controversy... [Log in to read more]