| ||In the heart of the Patagonian Andes, Lake Argentino is the biggest in the country, with a water surface of 574 square miles (1,560 km2). Some of the forty-seven glaciers of the Los Glaciares National Park come to expire on its shores. The park was set up in 1937 and added to UNESCO’s World Heritage list in 1981. As they break up, these giants release icebergs that have a slightly turquoise hue because the ice in them is old and extremely dense. As they melt, the icy blocks give the water a distinctive milky blue color that the Argentines call dulce de glaciar—“glacier cream.” Patagonia’s glacial sheet is the world’s third biggest after those of Antarctica and Greenland. Its area has shrunk by 193 square miles (500 km2) over the last ﬁfty years, during which global temperatures have risen by 1.08°F (0.6°C). Upsala, the national park’s biggest glacier, is thought to have receded at an average of 197 feet (60 m) per year for the last sixty years—and the rate is accelerating. The retreat of the glaciers could be especially dangerous to water supplies in arid regions.
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