Ecuador | Climbed 21/10/2016
years until
glacier vanishes

Antisana is a spectacular volcano that towers 1700m above the páramo – a landscape of wet, high-altitude alpine grassland. Together with Cotopaxi volcano, Antisana is of great interest to both scientists and the 1.6 million citizens of Quito, Ecuador’s capital city. This is because Quito receives most of its water from these two mighty volcanoes. On Antisana, the water is stored in two main places: the glaciers that cover the upper slopes of the volcano and the páramo grasses that blanket its lower slopes that act as a sponge for the water. Climate change in the Antisana region will raise temperature by at least 1°C between now and 2035, meaning not only faster melting glaciers but a reduction in rainfall by 3–4%, which will dry out the páramo grasses and make agriculture possible at higher altitudes due to the warmer conditions – all bad for the páramo and its ability to act as a store of water.