by Staff Writers
Cancun, Mexico (SPX) May 15, 2013
A new study finds a decline in snow and ice on Mount Everest (second peak from left) and the national park surrounding it. (Credit: Pavel Novak)
Researchers taking a new look at the snow and ice covering Mount Everest and the national park that surrounds it are finding abundant evidence that the world’s tallest peak is shedding its frozen cloak. The scientists have also been studying temperature and precipitation trends in the area and found that the Everest region has been warming while snowfall has been declining since the early 1990s.
Members of the team conducting these studies will present their findings on May 14 at the Meeting of the Americas in Cancun, Mexico – a scientific conference organized and co-sponsored by the American Geophysical Union.
Glaciers in the Mount Everest region have shrunk by 13 percent in the last 50 years and the snowline has shifted upward by 180 meters (590 feet), according to Sudeep Thakuri, who is leading the research as part of his PhD graduate studies at the University of Milan in Italy.
Glaciers smaller than one square kilometer are disappearing the fastest and have experienced a 43 percent decrease in surface area since the 1960s. Because the glaciers are melting faster than they are replenished by ice and snow, they are revealing rocks and debris that were previously hidden deep under the ice.
These debris-covered sections of the glaciers have increased by about 17 percent since the 1960s, according to Thakuri. The ends of the glaciers have also retreated by an average of 400 meters since 1962, his team found.
The researchers suspect that the decline of snow and ice in the Everest region is from human-generated greenhouse gases altering global climate. However, they have not yet established a firm connection between the mountains’ changes and climate change, Thakuri said.
- Mount Everest losing its cloak of ice and snow (thehindu.com)
- Study: Mount Everest losing its cloak of ice and snow as world warms (upi.com)
- Scientists find extensive glacial retreat in Mount Everest region (esciencenews.com)
- Mount Everest’s Ice Is Melting (livescience.com)
- Extensive Glacial Retreat in Mount Everest Region Reported In New Study (natureworldnews.com)
- The ice on Mount Everest is melting (science.nbcnews.com)
- Glacial Ice and Precipitation at Mount Everest Are Decreasing, Study Says (latinospost.com)
- Global warming may leave Mount Everest without glaciers – Tehran Times (tehrantimes.com)
- Study: Extensive glacial melting on Mount Everest (cbsnews.com)