Mt Everest's highest Glacier

Study suggest Mt Everest’s highest Glacier rapidly melting due to Climate Change

Mt Everest’s highest Glacier (South Col Glacier, 8020m) is rapidly melting due to climatic change. Retreat of Mountain Glacier worldwide is not a new phenomenon and is well documented. Mt Everest’s highest Glacier is losing several decades of accumulation annually as glacier ice has been exposed. It identify extreme sensitivity to glacier surface type for high altitude Himalayan ice masses and forewarn of rapidly emerging impacts as Mt Everest’s highest glacier appears destined for rapid retreat. It loses 55 metres of Ice in last 25 years at a rate of 80% greater than 2000 years of formation. 

Study was conducted by researchers of University of Maine. It was published on Nature Portfolio Journal Climate and Atmospheric Science on Thursday. It was conducted through a partnership with National Geographic Society, Rolex Perpetual Planet Everest Expenditure and Tribhuvan University, Nepal with approval of all agencies from Government of Nepal.

Mt Everest's highest Glacier
South Col Glacier ice core (8220 m) (red arrow) and Balcony AWS (8430 m) locations (yellow arrow) with South Col camp in the foreground – looking North. The South Col AWS is 500 m South of the camp (outside this picture). Picture by Mariusz Potocki.

Key Impacts

  • Melting of glacier can decrease the storage capacity of glacier to store water for more than 1 billion people who depend on it. For various purposes like irrigation, drinking and hydroelectricity.
  • It can also increase the incidence of avalanches in region.
  • It can make more tough to people to climb the Earth’s highest mountain Mt Everest as people would be exposed to bedrock as ice and snow cover would reduce.

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