Changes on the planet are affecting the world's tallest mountain, casting doubt on its climbability and even its height. Sherpas are wondering whether warmer climates will render Mount Everest too dangerous to summit, and geologic changes in the Himalayas have raised uncertainties about its altitude, according to separate reports.
You might think a warmer climate would render Everest easier to climb — fewer treacherous glaciers and snowbanks and so forth — but the opposite is true. Rockslides are increasing, and it's much more difficult to clamber up bare rocks than to use metal crampons on thick ice. The conditions are deteriorating so much that the mountain may be unclimbable in a few years, according to Apa Sherpa, a Nepali climber who has reached the summit a record 21 times.
Himalayan communities are already facing dramatic climate shifts, according to AFP, which interviewed Apa Sherpa while he's participating in a 120-day hike. Glaciers have shrunk by 21 percent in the past 30 years, and it is getting colder in the winter and hotter in the summer.
Meanwhile, Nepal is soliciting help to re-measure the peak, to settle a dispute over its height. Nepal wants to use Everest's snow height as part of the official altitude measurement, but China, which borders the mountain range, wants to use its rock height. Other peaks get to use the snow height, Nepal points out. This has been the subject of a longstanding dispute between China and Nepal, with the Nepalese government insisting the world's highest peak is 11 feet taller than China says it is.
Changing snowpack aside, this dispute is made even more complex by the Himalayas' dynamic nature — it's a young mountain range that is still rising as the Indian subcontinent slides under Eurasia.
Measuring Everest is no small feat, as the BBC reports. You would need GPS equipment that can function in -50 degree temperatures, sherpas who can operate the technology, and a data processing system that the international community would accept. The last official measurement was in 1999, when an American team using GPS measured a height of 29,035 feet (8,850 meters). Previously, Everest was measured at 29,028 feet (8,848 meters).
NOOOOOO! i just started rock climbing! my dream was to do the everest!
Gotta start with Kilimanjaro first tho..but man cant someone drop a huge ice cube in the pacific please
If Mount Everest has snow or does not have snow, if it is covered in peanut butter, if it is raining or in a blizzard, I believe it would be fun for "Alex Honnold". He be on top faster than anyone else, sitting at the peak, eating his lunch and admiring the view!
See life in all its beautiful colors, and
from different perspectives too!
So how does "Glaciers have shrunk by 21 percent in the past 30 years" jive with the most recent analysis published in Nature (08 February 2012) that shows Himalayan glaciers are shrinking at a much lower rate (about 10 times lower, or roughly 2%)? The study used gravity measurements from the GRACE satellites from 2003 to 2010 to determine the monthly mass balance of glaciers over the entire globe.
If you pay attention, this gets really interesting. The previous study cited, that says there was a 21% decline over 30 years, was done by the Indian Space Research Organization. It used satellite imagery to determine the 2-dimensional size of glaciers, showing receding "snouts" (the front face of glaciers). The study was conducted from 2005 to 2010 and the initial results said there was a 16% decline in surface area (not sure where 21% comes from). However, there are lots of problems with the study. Some glaciers were analyzed for just a few years (2001 to 2005), some for longer periods of time. The analysis methods varied: some from satellite imagery, a few from actual visits to glaciers, some from measuring stream flow (and possibly not correcting for increased precipitation from the preceding winter).
Scientists (not global warming skeptics) said: "Although snouts in general have been found to be retreating, snout data reveals little about the overall mass of water." A more sophisticated approach, say scientists, is "mass-balance" studies (scidev.net, 21 January 2010).
So the more sophisticated study was done using the GRACE satellites and they showed much lower rates of melting. In fact the rate is low enough to be within the margin of error which means there may be no appreciable mass loss trend at all, at least over the 7 years that the current GRACE data covers.
Conclusion: as with all other climate research, more study is needed. In other words, so far we don't see signs of catastrophic global warming (unless you're a Global Warming Chicken Little or you've been playing with computer models and arbitrarily introducing "forcings" and "feedbacks" that don't correlate to real-world measurements). Believe it or not, climate studies are still relatively new and we don't have a lot of long-term data sets, or data sets with fairly broad coverage of the entire globe. Take outrageous claims with a gain of salt.
Well we can blame China for this because unlike America and Europe they have no respect whatsoever for the ozone layer or the polar ice caps
Here is 100% proof there isn't any climate crisis:
If these hundreds of thousands of consensus scientists that are still crying climate crisis were actually a reality, they would be the ones marching in the streets to save THEIR OWN CHILDREN. Not the dozens and dozens of climate change protesters we see now.
Occypywallstreet's list of demands makes no mention of climate change and Obomber has not mentioned any "crisis" in his last two state of the unions.
Get ahead of the curve because the train of climate crisis from Human CO2 belief has left the station.
really, that is quite a scientific analysis you got there, stick to 69, you probably won't run across any political issues to dive into, negative cheers
when accurate data is finally available for you, it will be too late. better be safe than sorry.
I dont understand why its getting hotter in the summer and cooler in the winter.
Could someone explain?
What’s happening climate-wise is climate change, not global warming. There is a huge difference between these phrases. Climate changes occur due to the changing position of the axis’ tilt. Major axis tilt changes create ice ages or a tropical climate in Alaska and small ones create minor climate alterations, like the one we have now. A huge asteroid or comet hitting the earth would greatly change the axis’ tilt and the climate would change as well. 12,000 years ago, such an impact took place and it put an end to the last ice age. The climate changed so abruptly that the ice melted very fast and great floods covered much of the earth. That was the reason for animal extinction at the end of the ice age. Anyone interested in how all the climate changes take place should go to www.IceAgeBook.com. A book titled “Ice Ages, Animal Extinctions, and the Great Flood Explained” by Raven Alb J. is available on Amazon.com. An e-book is also available on the above mentioned site.