Guayaquil, May 21, 2010.- On May 15 through May 20, the Planetary Sciences Division (PSD) of the Ecuadorian Civilian Space Agency (EXA), using the HERMES-A ground station captured thermal images form NOAA-18 and NOAA-19 satellites and after processing the images, noticed that they show something never seen before, according to local records: temperatures over 30C degrees in the equatorial Andean mountains region, located over 3000mts high. For comparison, normal temperatures for this time of the year and for this time of the day are like 20C degrees in average.

Records from the meteorological station network validated this results and also shown that this temperatures set new highs never recorded in this particular region, where many glaciers are located, also, visual observations reveal that those glaciers are in fact, receding, exposing terrain never seen before.

In the image below, for May 17, 19h01UTC, 14h01 local time, processed by the PSD-EXA the coordinates were georeferenced by the satellite and show the partial image where the red outlined zone marks the equatorial Andean region and the high temperatures can be observed, the blue/turquoise/light green spots are rain clouds, the scale color reference gives the temperature in Celsius degrees:

Also, the full processed original image is show below:

EXA/17 - BP-33 / BP-E-016-052009