June 27, 2009
Peridido Glacier Retreat
Posted by Mauri Pelto
The Peridido Glacier, Pyrenees Mountains, Spain has lost 92% of its area since 1894. The glacier lost 50% of its area declining from 90 hectares to 44 hectares from 1991 to 2001. Pyrenees Glacier report, written by a group of scientists including Enrique Serrano from the Universidad de Valladolid and Eduardo Martínez de Pisón from the Autónoma de Madrid has noted the loss of 50-60% of the entire area of Pyrenees Glaciers since 1990. The images of Peridido Glacier from 1898 and 1910 were provided by Eduardo Blanchard. In 1910 as seen in the picture below right, the glacier has three sections each connected. The upper section connected with the mid section by a narrow crevassed icefall, the crevasses indicate active movement. The middle section is connected to the lower avalanche fed section by a wide crevassed icefall. The lower section is not heavily crevassed and has thinned and pulled back from the terminus moraine of the Little Ice Age. This moraine is the sediment ridge in the foreground. By 1998 there is no connection between the three sections, the lower section is nearly gone, with just a bit or relict ice. There are very few crevasses indicating a lack of active movement. The glacier is melting more or less in place. The Pyrenees have experienced a 0.9 C degree warming since 1910.
Peridido Glacier is rapidly disappearing, at the current rate of area loss it cannot survive to 2050, and more likely not until 2030. It is not alone in the Pyrenees, at least three glaciers have disappeared in the last 15 years, Balaitus, La Munia and Perdigurero.