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Published on Dec 11, 2007
In Pucarumi, a small community in the foothills of the snow-capped Peruvian Andes, Felipe mulls the fate of the life-giving Ausangate glacier. Year after year, the great white glacier of his boyhood has receded and slowly turned black.
World Bank in Peru: www.worldbank.org/peru
"We are feeling the effects of climate change," says Felipe, an alpaca herder whose animals graze on pastures irrigated by Ausangate's waters. "This loss of snow means we receive less water. This climatic factor is causing us great danger."
Less water has meant less pasture and more difficulty raising livestock. Animals such as alpaca and sheep aren't eating enough, "so their wool doesn't grow as well," forcing people to turn to synthetic wool to weave hats, sweaters, and scarves.