Risan Media’s Todd Anders Johnson traveled to Chile and Peru this past spring to to document climate change impacts on Andean glaciers and community adaptation. Todd joined Norwegian professor of climate change and glaciology, Dr. Sebastian Mernild, in the Olivares Basin in the high Andes outside Santiago on his annual glaciological field research expedition. Dr. Mernild is the director of the Nansen Center in Bergen, Norway. The team took a helicopter from Santiago to the Gamma Glacier at 11,200 ft and set up basecamp for a few days near the glacier.
Todd travelled from Santiago to Hauraz, Peru where he joined a team from The Mountain Institute to document their USAID-funded Andes Program in Peru’s Ancash region, home of the Cordillera Blanca. We filmed in Huascaran National Park at Lake Palcacocha where glacial outburst flood research is ongoing as the potential for GLOFs has increased in recent decades with climate change. Glacier recession has also increased metal and mineral acidification of the local rivers which is impacting the quality of life for the local community as well as livestock and agriculture. TMI and USAID have a pilot bio-remediation project located in the mountains outside Hauraz with the intent to clean the polluted water with artificial wetlands and if successful, to replicate the project regionally.