The Year Climate Change Closed Everest


mentalfloss
#1


The Year Climate Change Closed Everest

NASA/GSFC/Kimberly Casey
The deadly avalanche on Everest earlier this month wasn't technically an avalanche. It was an "ice release"???a collapse of a glacial mass known as a serac. Rather than getting swept up by a rush of powdery snow across a slope, the victims fell under the blunt force of house-sized ice blocks tumbling through the Khumbu Icefall, an unavoidable obstacle on the most popular route up Everest. The worst accident in the mountain's history has effectively ended the 2014 climbing season. And some see global warming as the key culprit.

"I am at Everest Basecamp right now and things are dire because of climate change," John All, a climber, scientist, and professor of geography at Western Kentucky University, told me by email. "The ice is melting at unprecedented rates and [that] greatly increases the risk to climbers."

"You could say [that] climate change closed Mt. Everest this year," he added.

Climbers had warily eyed the serac that collapsed on April 18 for years. In fact, a major expedition outfitter canceled its climbing season in 2012 because of it???a decision vividly reconstructed by Jon Krakauer in The New Yorker last week:

For many years, the most lucrative commercial guiding operation on Mt. Everest has been a company called Himalayan Experience, or Himex, which is owned by a New Zealand mountaineer named Russell Brice. In the spring of 2012, more than a month into the climbing season, he became increasingly worried about a bulge of glacial ice three hundred yards wide that was frozen tenuously to Everest???s West Shoulder, hanging like a massive sword of Damocles directly over the main route up the Nepal side of the mountain.

Ice frequently falls from this hanging glacier on the West Shoulder, and traversing the Icefall has always been treacherous. "Ice doctors" who install ladders and ropes in the area have long adjusted and readjusted the infrastructure in response to the collapses, big and small, that occur there on a daily basis. But experts believe these dangers are multiplying as average temperatures rise. In Krakauer's words, "the pronounced warming of the Himalayan climate in recent years has made the Icefall more unstable than ever, and there is still no way to predict when a serac is going to topple over."

Or take it from Tim Rippel, who runs Peak Freaks and was blogging from Base Camp last week:

As a professional member of the Canadian Avalanche Association I have my educated concerns. The mountain has been deteriorating rapidly the past three years due [to] global warming and the breakdown in the Khumbu ice-fall is dramatic, especially at the upper icefall. We need to learn more about what is going on up there. Each day we sit and listen to the groaning and crashing of the glacier.

The Icefall is a formation of the Khumbu glacier, which stretches between Everest and a neighboring peak called Lhotse. And, like others around the globe, this glacier is melting. (A caveat: Glaciers in the nearby Karakoram region, home to the towering K2, appear to be growing, according to the latest research.) The Khumbu glacier shifts by a few feet each day and has shrunk by more than half a mile in length??(from 12,040 meters to 11,097 meters) over the past 50 years???though it's by no means the fastest-retreating glacier in the region. Base Camp, which sits on the glacier below the Icefall, has lost about 40 feet??in elevation over the same time period, according to the glaciologist Mauri Pelto.

"If it wasn't the tallest mountain in the world, you would never put yourself on a glacier this active," veteran guide Adrian Ballinger??recently told the Associated Press.??

The Himalayas have been called "the third pole" because the mountain range stores more snow and ice than any other region in the world except the North and South Poles. According to NASA, temperatures in this region have been increasing by 0.5 degrees Fahrenheit per decade since 1980, a rate twice as high as the global average. And the impacts of global warming in the Himalayas are similar to those in the Arctic and Antarctic, with one big difference: Many more people live around this "third pole" than around the North or South Poles.

As a result of this relative population density, climate change is exacting human costs not just on Everest but in the entire region. Some 1.3 billion people??depend on rivers that run from Himalayan glaciers like the Khumbu. A couple hundred million??of those people live close enough to the mountains to be endangered by devastating wipeouts from glacial flood outbursts, which occur when glaciers melt into lakes and the lakes then overflow???"high-altitude disasters in the making," by one environmental journalist's estimation. There are thousands of glacial lakes in the Himalayas, and many of them are concentrated around Everest.

The UN's climate-change panel may have been wrong in 2007 when it estimated that Himalayan glaciers will be gone by 2035 (it later conceded that its predictions were "poorly substantiated"). But it's reiterating now that the world's tallest mountains truly are melting, endangering the water supplies of hundreds of millions of people in Asia.

These dramatic changes in climate are occurring at a time when human traffic on Everest is increasing. The best time to summit the mountain is in the middle of May, when the fierce winds of the jet stream, which whip around the summit almost all year long, temporarily move north. A perfect day to summit is one with little wind and no precipitation.??

But there may be fewer of those days in the future. And yet,??with the exception of this year, there will likely be more summit-seekers angling for positions on the route during narrowing, and increasingly unpredictable, windows of favorable weather. The mad Everest traffic jam of 2012 could become an annual affair.????

....more...

The Year Climate Change Closed Everest - Atlantic Mobile
 
EagleSmack
+1
#2
 
Walter
#3
The OP is crap.
 
mentalfloss
#4
You have a great host of gifs at your disposal and that's the best you could come up with?

Quote: Originally Posted by WalterView Post

The OP is crap.

Enlightening.
 
Tecumsehsbones
#5
Quote: Originally Posted by mentalflossView Post

You have a great host of gifs at your disposal and that's the best you could come up with?



Enlightening.

 
EagleSmack
#6
Quote: Originally Posted by mentalflossView Post

You have a great host of gifs at your disposal and that's the best you could come up with?

No...

How's this one?

 
mentalfloss
#7
Much better considering when the going gets tough you

Last edited by mentalfloss; Apr 29th, 2014 at 11:57 AM..
 
EagleSmack
#8
Quote: Originally Posted by mentalflossView Post

Much better considering when the going gets tough you bail out.

When the going gets tough?! Saying Climate Change closed Mt. Everest is tough?

 
Locutus
#9
"You could say [that] _________ closed Mt. Everest this year," he added.

a) aliens
b) beliebers
c) concern trolls
d) derp
e) electric universe
f) ford, rob ford
g) germans
h) happy meals
i) icwutudidthar
j) joos
k) katy perry
l) lol
m) malaysia Airlines Flight 370
n) numnums
o) oh boy here we go
p) progs
q) qatar
r) rape culture
s) snuffleupagus
t) timbits
u) ukraine
v) vlad
w) woooooo
x) xylene
y) ytmnd
z) zeus
 
mentalfloss
#10
You forgot socialists.

Quote: Originally Posted by EagleSmackView Post

When the going gets tough?! Saying Climate Change closed Mt. Everest is tough?

And yet you haven't addressed any of the points?

That makes you extra special.
 
captain morgan
+1 / -1
#11
Everest is the most dangerous mountain in the world... I say it's high time that they closed the mountain for the sake of the egoists and ecotards that feel compelled to throw their lives away
 
Tecumsehsbones
#12
Quote: Originally Posted by captain morganView Post

Everest is the most dangerous mountain in the world... I say it's high time that they closed the mountain for the sake of the egoists and ecotards that feel compelled to throw their lives away

Think of it as evolution in action.
 
EagleSmack
+1
#13
Quote: Originally Posted by mentalflossView Post


And yet you haven't addressed any of the points?

That makes you extra special.

You're threads are stupid and repetitive.

 
captain morgan
+2
#14
Quote: Originally Posted by TecumsehsbonesView Post

Think of it as evolution in action.


If anyone asks me why I closed it; I'll just tell 'em "because it was there"
 
mentalfloss
#15
Quote: Originally Posted by EagleSmackView Post

You're threads are stupid and repetitive.

 
lone wolf
+1
#16
Everest is just pissed-off at all the garbage climbers leave on her back
 
Locutus
+3
#17  Top Rated Post
the mountain was angry that day my friends.
 
lone wolf
+1
#18
Billy? Is that you?

httpwwwyoutubecomwatchv61DMZFepA80

Last edited by lone wolf; Apr 29th, 2014 at 12:16 PM..Reason: Had to watch the Gibson Guitar ad
 
EagleSmack
#19
Quote: Originally Posted by mentalflossView Post

 
coldstream
+2
#20
Like the breaking off of Ice Shelves in Antartica, ice avalanches are more likely to be caused by a build up of unsustainable mass which causes the structure to cleave off. Hence they are more likely to be signs of cold weather.

The AGW crowd really are desperate, scowering the Globe of news worthy events that form NO cohesive evidence of anything.. but can be packaged in a way to support the utterly discredited thesis of Anthropogenic Global Warming.
 
PoliticalNick
+2
#21
It appears none of these AGW morons stopped to think before claiming an icefall in an area named the Khumbu Icefall an unnatural event.
 
petros
#22
Angle of repose and gravity. Nothing new about either of them.
 
mentalfloss
-1
#23
Climate change makes risks of climbing Mount Everest even greater, say scientists
 
Locutus
+1
#24
"...according to the International Panel on Climate Change."

ffs

 
DaSleeper
+1
#25
I guess you could call me an atheist........a climate change atheist ...
 
captain morgan
+2
#26
Well, that makes it official; I will be removing 'Ascent of Mt Everest ' from my bucket list... I will have to settle with another attempt to conquer Mt Boobies this weekend... I shall start immediately in planning an unconventional approach to this challenge.
 
EagleSmack
+3
#27
Quote: Originally Posted by coldstreamView Post

Like the breaking off of Ice Shelves in Antartica, ice avalanches are more likely to be caused by a build up of unsustainable mass which causes the structure to cleave off. Hence they are more likely to be signs of cold weather.

.

That was the reason the last 500,000 million years or so. Now avalanches are caused by man made global warming and only wealth distribution will stop avalanches.

As well as the mass increase of idiotic and repetitive alarmist threads on CanCon.

 
Walter
#28
Quote: Originally Posted by lone wolfView Post

Billy? Is that you?

Billy the Mountain - Frank Zappa and the Mothers Just another band from LA Pt 1 - YouTube

A mountain is something you don't want to fuk with.
 
Twila
+1
#29
all you negative nellies have forgotten the upside: Once the mountain is clear of snow we can get all those bodies down and give 'em a proper buriel so their relatives can have closure. See? How lovely is that?
 
Locutus
+2
#30
after the ice and snow melt they'll see all the garbage these hipsters have left up there...people will lose their minds.
 

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