The Climate Issues Putting Chan Chan at Risk

The historic city is suffering from a range of climate change related impacts

By CyArk

Eroding Chan chanCyArk

How is this historic city eroding away?

Chan Chan landscapeCyArk

Peru is home to a diverse range of ecosystems, from the high Andes to lush tropical rainforest. Consequently, it is suffering from a range of climate change related impacts including glacial melt, desertification and extreme weather conditions.    

Walking over the lunar landscape at Palacio Rivero by CyArkCyArk

Extreme weather

Chan Chan has always suffered from extreme weather, and they would certainly have been familiar to the Chimú people and other past civilisations along the coast of Peru.  

Chan Chan infographic rainfallCyArk

Increased frequency of El Niño events

These impacts have become worse in recent decades as the frequency of El Niño (a complex weather pattern) events has increased.    

Chan Chan infographic groundwater evaporationCyArk

Sea-levels rising

Increased rainfall and sea-level rise is predicted along the coastal zone where Chan Chan is located. It is also where 52% of the current population of Peru are based.     

Chan Chan infographic micro-climate humidityCyArk

Coverage from increased rainfall causes micro climates

Towns which get no rain for years can be inundated with water and this erodes buildings. The reliefs are particularly vulnerable to rain and as sea temperatures rise the impacts of El Niño become more severe. Heavier rain has also resulted in a rise to the water table affecting foundation.      

Chan Chan infographic erosionCyArk

Coverage from increased rainfall causes micro climates

Towns which get no rain for years can be inundated with water and this erodes buildings. The reliefs are particularly vulnerable to rain and as sea temperatures rise the impacts of El Niño become more severe. Heavier rain has also resulted in a rise to the water table affecting foundation.      

Discover more

Discover how CyArk uses 3D documentation to empower local experts.

Find out more about ICOMOS' efforts to increase engagement of cultural heritage in climate action here.

Credits: Story

Milagros Flores, ICOMOS and President, ICOMOS International Scientific Committee on Fortifications and Military Heritage.  

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
Google apps