Effects of Climate Change on the glaciers of the Nevados de Chillán Volcanic Complex
Global scale climate change is affecting different ecosystems, including glaciers, main freshwater reserve on the planet. The main objective of this work was to determine the surface changes in the glacial coverings of the Nevados de Chillán-Volcanic Complex and relate them to meteorological variations to understand the effects of climate change on this type of ecosystem. Through a multitemporal analysis of Landsat TM and OLI images from 3 different periods (1999, 2009 and 2019), a spectral analysis was performed based on two indexes: 1) Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) and 2) Normalized Difference Snow Index (NDSI). As for the two meteorological variables analyzed, precipitation and ambient temperature, the monthly averages were considered during the same dates from which the satellite images were obtained. The results obtained in this investigation indicate a superficial decrease in the temporal evolution of glaciers when analyzing the spectral indexes. In the two meteorological variables analyzed, variations were observed that support the hypothesis of how climate change is contributing to the melting of glaciers with the increase in environmental temperatures and the decrease in rainfall in the area of study. The work carried out highlights the notable decrease in glacial surfaces and how climate change could be directly related to this process.
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