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National Geographic Society Installs World’s Highest Operating Weather Stations on Mount Everest

The successful installation aims to break new ground in our monitoring and understanding of climate change as the stations will help continuously monitor the upper reaches of the atmosphere

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mount everest, weather stations
"The Balcony weather station is the first weather station installed at an elevation above 8,000 metres, meaning it will also be the first to sample the stratosphere as natural variations in the atmospheric boundaries change over time." Pixabay

The National Geographic Society has announced the successful installation of the worlds highest operating weather stations on Mount Everest to provide researchers, climbers, and the public with near real-time information about mountain conditions, the media reported.

“The multi-disciplinary team installed the world’s two highest operating automated weather stations at Balcony area (8,430 m) and South Col (7,945 m), as well as three other weather stations on Mount Everest,” Fae Jencks, Director, Marketing and Communications at the National Geographic Society, said in a statement on Thursday.

The other stations were placed at Phortse (3,810 m), Everest Base Camp (5,315 m) and Camp II (6,464 m), the statement said, adding that each weather station will record data on temperature, relative humidity, barometric pressure, wind speed, and wind direction, reports The Himalayan Times.

mount everest
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

Data from the weather stations and other new research conducted as part of National Geographic and Rolex’s Perpetual Planet Extreme Expedition to Everest will help communities respond to climate risks that threaten the lives and livelihoods of the more than one billion people in the region.

The successful installation aims to break new ground in our monitoring and understanding of climate change as the stations will help continuously monitor the upper reaches of the atmosphere, which is critical to tracking and predicting weather patterns around the globe, the statement added.

“The Balcony weather station is the first weather station installed at an elevation above 8,000 metres, meaning it will also be the first to sample the stratosphere as natural variations in the atmospheric boundaries change over time.”

mount everest
Data from the weather stations and other new research conducted as part of National Geographic and Rolex’s Perpetual Planet Extreme Expedition to Everest will help communities respond to climate risks that threaten the lives and livelihoods of the more than one billion people in the region. Pixabay

From April to June, an international team of scientists, climbers and story-tellers, led by the NatGeo Society and Tribhuvan University and supported in partnership with Rolex, conducted a scientific expedition to Everest, believed to be the most comprehensive single scientific expedition to the mountain in history, it claimed.

ALSO READ: Nepal Climbers Retreive 4 Bodies, 11 Tonnes of Decades-Old Garbage from Mount Everest

According to the statement, the multi-disciplinary team also collected the highest-ever ice core sample (at 8,020 metres), conducted comprehensive bio-diversity surveys at multiple elevations, completed the highest-elevation helicopter-based lidar scan, expanded the elevation records for high-dwelling species and documented the history of the mountain’s glaciers.

With team members from eight countries, including 17 Nepali researchers, the expedition team conducted trailblazing research in five areas of science that are critical to understanding environmental changes and their impacts: biology, glaciology, meteorology, geology and mapping. (IANS)

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Nepal Conducts Month-Long Cleaning Campaign to Convert Mount Everest Trash into Treasure

More than 50 people have been involved in Kathmandu-based Blue Waste to Value since 2017, which is a social enterprise dedicated to creating value from waste

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nepal, mount everest, garbage trails
Workers from a recycling company load garbage collected and brought from Mount Everest, in Kathmandu, Nepal, June 5, 2019. VOA

In a bid to save Mount Everest from trash, Nepal conducted a month-long cleaning campaign by collecting over 10,000 kg of rubbish from the region.

The historical mega clean-up campaign coordinated by government and non-government agencies by mobilizing a dedicated Sherpa team from the base camp to four higher camps, not only collected waste but also removed four dead bodies from the roof of the world, Xinhua news agency reported on Sunday.

Instead of sending those solid waste to dump in the landfill site near Kathmandy, the items were segregated, processed and recycled as raw materials for various products.

“We segregated the collected materials in different categories like plastic, glass, iron, aluminium and textile. Among 10 tonness of waste received, two tonnes have been recycled while the remaining eight were soil mixed with wrappers and semi-burned items, which could not be recycled,” Nabin Bikash Maharjan, the head of Blue Waste to Value, told Xinhua.

mount everest, nepal
FILE – Mountaineers walk near Camp One of Mount Everest, April 29, 2018, as they prepare to ascend on the south face from Nepal. VOA

More than 50 people have been involved in Kathmandu-based Blue Waste to Value since 2017, which is a social enterprise dedicated to creating value from waste. Besides recycling the waste of the mountain, Maharjan’s team is also working with municipalities, hospitals, hotels and different offices to maximize value from waste by recycling, reducing the amount of waste sent to landfills and by creating green jobs.

To make the Everest cleanup campaign more effective, the company suggested authorities to set up an initial processing unit in the mountain area itself, so that waste can be segregated immediately and easily managed. Though the company does not recycle the materials itself, it collaborates with another firm called Moware Designs to create up-cycled glass bottle products and to sell them online.

Ujen Wangmo Lepcha from Moware Designs shared that the unique, colourful and artistic glass products are a trend recently for home, offices, restaurants and hotels. They are used as decorative items as a flower vase, candle cover, plates, travel cups, regular drinking glasses or as an accessory.

“Basically these waste products have no value in the market, so we are trying to add value and trying to reduce the waste from landfill. The products are environment-friendly and full of art,” Lepcha told Xinhua.

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

The young entrepreneur said that these products, which range from 350 Nepalese rupees to 2,000 Nepalese rupees ($3 to $18), are bacteria free as they are sterilized. The same glass items have also been a means of livelihood for many local women who shape the trash into trendy designs.

According to Nepal’s regulation, every foreigner needs to pay $11,000 as royalty while a Nepali climber has to pay $710 to scale the 8,848-meter-tall mountain.

ALSO READ: Uttarakhand Plans to Ban Single-Use Plastics in Government Offices; Becomes Third State to Enforce Ban on Plastic

Besides, the government collects garbage deposits from the climbers with a provision of refund after they bring back at least 8 kg of garbage. High altitude guides claimed that piles of trash are still found in the mountain with an adverse impact on health and the environment.

The Nepal Mountaineering Association said the government should come up with a new policy to have a separate fund, which can be used to continue the cleanliness campaign to make the mountaineering industry sustainable. (IANS)