Indonesia has a glacier. In fact there are several. That might sound as implausible as an Antarctic beach with palm trees, but it’s true.
The tiny little glaciers are up on Puncak Jaya, aka Carstensz Pyramid, Indonesia’s highest mountain at 4884m above sea level. But these mini icefields are disappearing, and fast.
Here’s why this matters.
- It matters because they are geographical treasures in their own right;
- It matters because glaciers in tropical areas like Indonesia provide valuable runoff for farmers and nearby communities. The creeks that flow out of glaciers are perennial, which means they always flow. Until the glacier goes;
- And it matters because these are visible symbols of the effects of climate change.
Australian adventurer and conservationist Tim Jarvis has visited the glaciers of Puncak Jaya. He heads a project called 25zero which is charting the disappearing icefields in six equatorial nations: Ecuador, Colombia, Tanzania, Uganda, Kenya and Indonesia.
Astonishingly, all of these countries have mountains mountains high enough for glaciers, but most of those glaciers will be gone within 25 years.