Monte Balmaceda is a heavily glaciated mountain located in the Magallanes Region of Chile. It stands at the head of Última Esperanza Sound, in the south portion of Bernardo O'Higgins National Park and near the mouth of the Serrano River. The glaciers Balmaceda and Serrano mantle the slopes of the mount.
In its vicinity is Torres del Paine National Park.
Bernardo O'Higgins National Park is the largest of the protected areas in Chile, covering an area of 35,259 km2 (13,614 sq mi) in both the Aysén and Magallanes and Antártica Chilena regions. Management of this and other national parks in Chile is entrusted to the Corporación Nacional Forestal (CONAF). The park is named after General Bernardo O'Higgins, the first head of state of the Republic of Chile. Los Glaciares National Park (Argentina) and Torres del Paine National Park are its neighbours to the east, Laguna San Rafael National Park is located to the north, the Alacalufes National Reserve to the southwestm and the Katalalixar National Reserve to the northwest.
A glacier (UK /ˈɡlæsiə/ GLASS-ee-ər or US /ˈɡleɪʃər/ GLAY-shər) is a large persistent body of ice that forms where the accumulation of snow exceeds its ablation (melting and sublimation) over many years, often centuries. Glaciers slowly deform and flow due to stresses induced by their weight, creating crevasses, seracs, and other distinguishing features. They also abrade rock and debris from their substrate to create landforms such as cirques and moraines. Glaciers form only on land and are distinct from the much thinner sea ice and lake ice that form on the surface of bodies of water.
Global warming is the rise in the average temperature of Earth's atmosphere and oceans since the late 19th century and its projected continuation. Since the early 20th century, Earth's mean surface temperature has increased by about 0.8 °C (1.4 °F), with about two-thirds of the increase occurring since 1980. Warming of the climate system is unequivocal, and scientists are more than 90% certain that it is primarily caused by increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases produced by human activities such as the burning of fossil fuels and deforestation. These findings are recognized by the national science academies of all major industrialized nations.
Climate model projections were summarized in the 2007 Fourth Assessment Report (AR4) by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). They indicated that during the 21st century the global surface temperature is likely to rise a further 1.1 to 2.9 °C (2 to 5.2 °F) for their lowest emissions scenario and 2.4 to 6.4 °C (4.3 to 11.5 °F) for their highest. The ranges of these estimates arise from the use of models with differing sensitivity to greenhouse gas concentrations.
Future warming and related changes will vary from region to region around the globe. The effects of an increase in global temperature include a rise in sea levels and a change in the amount and pattern of precipitation, as well a probable expansion of subtropical deserts. Warming is expected to be strongest in the Arctic and would be associated with the continuing retreat of glaciers, permafrost and sea ice. Other likely effects of the warming include a more frequent occurrence of extreme-weather events including heat waves, droughts and heavy rainfall, ocean acidification and species extinctions due to shifting temperature regimes. Effects significant to humans include the threat to food security from decreasing crop yields and the loss of habitat from inundation.