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NatGeo to Set up Weather Stations on Mount Everest

Examination of rock, lake sediment, snow, firn, and ice samples for biological evidence, including eDNA, will add to understanding of the range of life that can survive in extreme environments

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This photograph taken from a helicopter shows an aerial view of Mount Everest in Nepal's Solukhumbu district, some 140 kilometers (87 miles) northeast of Kathmandu, on Nov. 22, 2018. VOA

The National Geographic Society will set up automatic weather stations on Mount Everest as part of its multi-year, partnered initiative to increase understanding of extreme environmental conditions, the media reported on Friday.

According to Nepal government officials involved in issuing permits for the scientific research, NatGeo has been permitted to install five automatic weather stations at different elevations along the climbing route and on the “roof of the world”, reports The Himalayan Times.

It has also been issued permits for on-site meteorological experiments.

Bishnu Prasad Shrestha, Under-Secretary at the Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation, said the NatGeo team had already left for the Everest expedition to carry out research on weather, atmospheric conditions and changing climate by placing weather stations in the high altitude areas to gather data for the improvement of large-scale climate and weather models.

“As per their plan, satellite-link technology will share near-real-time information about conditions on the mountain with scientists, regional managers and climbers,” he added.

Mount Everest. Wikimedia

According to NatGeo’s research plan seen by this daily, it is going to carry out a broad scientific assessment of – and expedition to – Mt Everest and the Solukhumbu region, working closely with Nepali partners.

The expedition will collect samples for scientific research on current and historical climate patterns. It will use remotely sensed images to improve mapping of the glacial extent to better understand changing environmental conditions.

To understand the complexities of a high-mountain environment, the team will collect ice core, surface snow and water samples at regular intervals along the climbing route and at or near the summit.

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NatGeo has also partnered with the Department of Geology and the Department of Botany of Tribhuvan University to study the aspects of extremophiles and biology, Prof Bhupa Prasad Dhamala, executive director at the varsity’s Centre for International Relations, said.

“Examination of rock, lake sediment, snow, firn, and ice samples for biological evidence, including eDNA, will add to understanding of the range of life that can survive in extreme environments.” (IANS)

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Due to Global Warming Mount Everest Melting Glaciers Throw Up Climbers’ Bodies

According to studies, glaciers in the Everest region are melting and thinning

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The association's Treasurer, Tenzeeng Sherpa, said climate change was affecting Nepal with glaciers, in parts, melting by a meter every year. Pixabay

With the melting of glaciers and snow due to high temperatures, Mount Everest expedition operators are finding more and more bodies of climbers on and around the world’s highest peak.

More than 200 mountaineers have died on the peak since 1922, when the first climbers’ deaths on the Everest were recorded. Most bodies have remained buried under glaciers or snow, CNN has reported.

“Due to climate change and global warming, snow and glaciers are melting fast, and bodies are being exposed and discovered by climbers,” said Ang Tshering Sherpa, former President of the Nepal Mountaineering Association.

mount everest
“Since 2008, my company has brought down seven bodies, some dating back to a British expedition in the 1970s,” he said. Pixabay

“Since 2008, my company has brought down seven bodies, some dating back to a British expedition in the 1970s,” he said.

According to studies, glaciers in the Everest region are melting and thinning.

“It’s a serious issue. We are concerned about this as it’s getting worse,” said Sobit Kunwar, an official of the Nepal National Mountain Guides Association. “We are trying to spread information to have a coordinated way to deal with it,” he said.

The association’s Treasurer, Tenzeeng Sherpa, said climate change was affecting Nepal with glaciers, in parts, melting by a meter every year.

mount everest
“We bring down most bodies. But for those that could not be brought down we pay ours respects by saying prayers and covering them with rocks or snow,” Sherpa said. Pixabay

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“We bring down most bodies. But for those that could not be brought down we pay ours respects by saying prayers and covering them with rocks or snow,” Sherpa said.

He lamented poor response of authorities in dealing with bodies found on the mountain. “We have not seen the government taking any responsibility,” he said.

Recovering and removing bodies from higher camps can be both dangerous and expensive. (IANS)