Field Experience

In the past years I have visited about 40 countries.

In 2009 I traveled trough 12 countries in tropical Latin America. 
I made this journey to try and understand the tropics. I visited small villages, mega cities, banana plantations, Amazonian rainforest, mountains of the Andes, Caribbean beaches and everything in between. In these 4,5 months, I learned a lot. It will be taking too much of your time to tell it all on this small webpage.  So let me just tell you one of these stories:

Before going to the Americas I had read a chapter of a book called High Tide, writen by Mark Lynas. This chapter was about the melting of the Andean glaciers and the effects it poses on the people living around the Andes. When I arrived in Peru, I remembered this chapter and contacted the author. He had visited a glacier his father had visited and photographed before as a geologist in 1980. I asked him for the pictures and for the directions towards the glacier. 
This brought me to a remote corner of the Cordillera Blanca, the highest mountain range in the tropics. After a long interesting hike we, a Swiss friend and me, arrived at the location where the glacier had been. Just a fraction of ice remained (as shown on the pictures below).

Why does it mater if ice at a far away corner in the world is melting? 
First of all there are the people. Downstream from the Andean rivers lies the city Lima. Eight million people live in this city. In the dry season (which lasts about three months), the only fresh water source is the meltwater from the glaciers. If the glaciers are gone, water scarcities will be the result. 
Second there is sea-level rise. Sea levels could go up by several meters this century through the melting of glaciers and ice caps. Since I live in Holland, I know what the effects of rising water levels can be.


1980   2009
 



























Standing in front of the remaining ice