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Latino Daily News

Friday May 25, 2012

Chile’s Lake Cachet Vanishing

Chile’s Lake Cachet Vanishing

Photo: Chile's Lake Cachet II Disappearing

Click Here to Enlarge Photo

Lake Cachet II, located in Chile’s Patagonia region, vanished overnight.  The lake, fed by ice melting from the Colonia Glacier, lcoated 1,250 miles south of the country’s capital of Santiago, was reduced to puddles and chunks of ice after emptying into the Baker river. 

Since 2008, Lake Cachet II has drained 11 times as a result of rising global temperatures.  The glacier typically acts as a dam, yet these temperatures have weakened it’s wall thus resulting in this emptying phenomenon now called, GLOF.  GLOFs, Glacial Lake Outburst Floods, have now become more frequent in the area.  In May of 2007, Tempanos Lake, also in southern Chile, emptied yet a few months later slowly started to refill. 

According to Gino Casassa, from the Center for Scientific Studies, CES, states that this phenomenon will become more frequent.  Casassa, also a member of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize-winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change stated that between 1896 and January of 2010 there have been 53 other cases of lakes draining with the frequency increasing in recent years. 

Residents in the area now respond to an alarm when a GLOF occurs, allowing them sufficient time to evacuate themselves as well as their animals before the flood worsens.