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The changing landscape of Patagonia

By Leonor Ayala, NBC News

From its dry arid deserts in the north to the frigid, icy landscapes of the south, Chile is one of the most geographically diverse countries in South America.  And according to environmental scientists it is also bearing the brunt of the damaging effects of global warming.

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon visited Latin America  recently to see firsthand the effects of climate change. He  spent two days in southern Chile, touring Patagonia.

"The change is now progressing much faster than I had thought," said Ban. "It's alarming."

Ban Ki-moon's visit came just before the release of a much anticipated Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report on the impact of global warming.  The IPCC ,  which shared the Nobel peace prize with Al Gore, called for international treaties to limit the emission of greenhouse gases.

Click here for a slide show of Leonor Ayala's visit to Chile and Argentina.