The Case for a Shifting Climate is Heating Up

For well in excess of a thousand years, Peru's Quelccaya ice cap has sparkled like a trillion-carat diamond. But satellites reveal that a flaw has appeared on its frozen face. That, Ohio State University glaciologist Lonnie Thompson believes, signifies the incipient birth of an Andean lake, meaning that the ice may be melting faster than he had feared. During the past two decades, Thompson has watched Quelccaya's surface shrink nearly a fifth. Now that the pace appears to be accelerating, he says worriedly, "it could be completely gone in another 20 years."

Is the earth warming? Few questions have provoked more...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!