Gliese Foundation
Gliese Foundation
Climate change, global warming, and the environment

The vanishing white hats of the mountains

(Category: Poetry)


The vanishing white hats of the mountains


They grew with the mountain ranges.

As old as life itself.

The most marvelous link,

The most fragile of an everlasting cycle.


The winds borrow water from the oceans,

Carrying it on their invisible shoulders:

White rivers on the sky,

Rivers that meander towards the continents,

Rivers that fall into the peaks of the mountains.

The cold rivers descend slowly,

Dressed in white, tiny, unique clothes.

They land softly, peacefully.


Mountain glaciers,

Staggering storages of the earth.

They manage the snow thrifty:

Just a portion melts each year.

On their way down,

Rivers furrow the land,

Flow swiftly,

Bring life to earth. 

Plants, animals, humans

Await with eagerness.  

The sky rivers have become terrestrial ones.


Everything so perfect,

Until the air began to become warmer,

Only a tiny bit warmer,

But glaciers cannot cope.

The snow sweats and melts faster.

The rivers turn violent.

The water overflows the river beds.

Floods, mudslides, lahars.



The winds still bring the sky rivers,

But more rain, less snow.

And the snow melts faster.

The glaciers cannot keep their size.

They recede,

Meter by meter,

But they recede.

Mountain glaciers are vanishing fast. 

We will not see the mountains

With their white hats,


We will be thirsty.


 Pablo Rodas-Martini


Some of the science behind the poem: 

"Global warming spells disaster for tropical glaciers Andes," January 2015. 

"Massive melting of Andes glaciers," January 2013. 

"The melting Andean glaciers," February 2017.