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Vanishing glaciers of Peru

A view of the lake formed by meltwater from the Pastoruri glacier, as seen from atop the glacier in Huaraz, September 19, 2013. The Pastoruri glacier is one of the fastest receding glaciers in the Cordillera Blanca mountain range according to a 2012 paper by the University of Texas and the Huascaran National Park. Peru is home to 71% of the worlds tropical glaciers, which are a source of fresh water for millions, but 22% of the surface area of Peruvian glaciers has disappeared in the past 30 years alone, according to The World Bank. Picture taken September 19, 2013. (REUTERS/Mariana Bazo)

Vanishing glaciers of Peru

In its heyday, the Pastoruri glacier in central Peru, drew daily throngs of tourists packed into dozens of double-decker buses 16,000-feet (5,0000-meters) high into the Andes to ski, build snowmen and scale its dizzying peaks.

It was so bright with ice and snow that sunglasses were mandatory.

But in less than 20 years, including at least 10 of the hottest on record, Pastoruri has shrunk in half, and now spans just a third of a square mile (0.9 square km).

Melting ice has given way to slabs of black rock, two small lakes gathering the glacial runoff have swollen together, and officials have banned climbing on the unstable formation. (Reuters)