Ice on a glacier near Mount Everest’s peak that took millennia to create has reduced considerably in the last three decades owing to climate change, according to a new study.
According to research led by the University of Maine and published this week in Nature, the South Col formation may have lost roughly 55 meters (180 feet) of thickness in the last 25 years.
Carbon dating revealed that the top layer of ice was roughly 2,000 years old, implying that the glacier was shrinking more than 80 times faster than it took to form, the study shows.
South Col was “definitely going to disappear within a few decades” at that rate, according to lead scientist Paul Mayewski of National Geographic.
He went on to say, “It’s quite an amazing transition.” The South Col glacier lies around 7,900 meters (26,000 ft) above sea level and a kilometer below the world’s tallest mountain’s summit.
Other researchers have discovered that the melting of Himalayan glaciers is speeding up. As glaciers recede, hundreds of lakes have formed in the Himalayan foothills, which could burst and cause floods.
Kami Rita Sherpa, a Nepali climber who has scaled Everest a record 25 times since 1994, told AFP on Saturday that he had personally noticed changes on the mountain.
“We can now see rock exposed where there was was snow. Other mountains, in addition to Everest, are losing their snow and ice. It’s concerning “AFP spoke with Sherpa.
For roughly two billion people who live in the mountains and river basins below, Himalayan glaciers are a vital supply of water. They provide food and energy to billions of people while also feeding ten of the world’s most major river systems.
According to UN climate scientists, the effects of climate change on water are already being felt by millions of people throughout the world on a daily basis.
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