Mount Everest is the highest mountain on the planet’s surface, with an altitude of 8,848 m above sea level, and is one of the main challenges faced by climbers around the world.
However, over the next few years, Mount Everest is likely to become more difficult to climb, and more dangerous.
According to a recent investigation, via Dailymail, it has been revealed that the highest glacier on Mount Everest, the so-called South Col Glacier, is losing decades worth of ice annually, and this is due to rising temperatures due to climate change.
They say this could lead to more avalanches and a decrease in the water supply on which more than 1 billion people in the area depend.
Likewise, this melting could also make Mount Everest more difficult to climb according to a team from the University of Maine: “climate projections for the Himalayas suggest continued warming and a continuous loss of glacier mass, and even the top of Everest is affected by warming from anthropogenic sources”.
These findings come from the 2019 National Geographic and Rolex Perpetual Planet Everest Expedition, which is considered the most comprehensive single scientific expedition to Mount Everest in all of history.
To carry out the study, they installed two meteorological stations and collected ice cores from the top of Mount Everest. These stations are located at 8,420 m and 7,945 m above sea level, making them the highest meteorological stations in the world. The ice core, on the other hand, was taken at about 8,020 m.
Subsequent analysis of the ice core revealed estimated ice thinning rates of about 2 m per year .
They explain that this fact is due to the fact that the glacier has passed from the snow cover to the ice, which means that it has lost its capacity to reflect solar radiation and thus has increased its melting.
There is a very worrying fact and it is suggested that around 55 m of the glacier has diminished in the last quarter of the century, 80 times faster than the almost 2000 years it took to form.