The Andes Mountains, which have always attracted skiers on the South American continent, are facing a historic fall in snowfall this year during a decade-long drought that scientists say is the result of global warming.
Rare rain and snow leave many majestic mountains scattered between Ecuador and Argentina, with irregular patches of snow, or no snow, exposing the brown land of the peaks.
Ricardo Villalpa, chief researcher at Argentine Ice, Glacier and Environmental Science Studies, said communities in the mountains that depend on mountains for water supply could be affected by the lack of rainfall and glaciers.
“Here we see a long-term downpour, a major drought,” Villalpa said.
“Now if you look at the amount of rainfall over the whole mountain, it showed no snow, or it showed very little snow,” the scientist pointed out.
The southern hemisphere is currently passing through winter, which should be the height of the snowfall.
Ski resorts reopen after long closures during epidemics, attracting home skiers to the Argentina-Chile border. But the rarefied snow is forcing many resorts to cover the most popular slopes or pull the ice to create artificial ice.