“Antisana is like my second home,” says Gustavo Egüez, who visits the volcano one a month with technicians from the National Institute of Meteorology and Hydrology (INAMHI) to download data generated by the two meteorological monitoring stations established at over 4,000 meters above sea level.
Temperature, wind speed, humidity, energy balance and the relations between the two stations permit researchers to learn about the real impact of climate change on Antisana glaciers.
Measuring 5,753 meters, the Antisana volcano is located in Napo Province, in north-central Ecuador. Its glaciers and the nearby plateaus, such as Papallacta and Tambo Valley, are an important source of drinking water for southern Quito.
According to Luis Maisincho, an INAMHI researcher responsible for processing monitoring station data, studies by the INAMHI and France’s Institut de Recherche pour le Développement (IRD) found that some Antisana glaciers have experienced marked retreat, at an average rate of 25 to 30 meters per year.