Mount Everest’s ice on a glacier near the summit has been shrinking continuously for the past three decades due to sudden climate changes. It took almost 1000 years for the formation of glaciers. It is the highest glacier on Mount Everest.
According to the research conducted by the University of Maine, the formation of South Col may have already lost up to 55 metres(180 feet) of thickness in the past 25 years and this was published by Nature. Carbon dating shows that the top layer of ice was around 2000 years old. It is also suggesting that the glacier was thinning more than 80 times and faster than the time it took to form.
At that rate, South Col was “probably going to disappear within very few decades”, lead scientist Paul Mayewski told the National Geographic channel. “It’s quite a remarkable transition,” he added.
The South Col glacier is around 7,900 metres above sea level. It was one kilometre below the peak of Mount Everest. Some researchers are also saying that Himalayan glaciers are melting at a faster rate. Due to the continuous shrinking of glaciers, hundreds of lakes formed in the foothills of the Himalayan mountains.
Kami Rita Sherpa, a Nepali climber who had the record of climbing Mount Everest 25 times since 1994, told AFP Saturday that he had witnessed some changes in the mountain too. “We now see rock exposed in areas where there used to be snow before. Not just on Everest, other mountains are also losing their snow and ice. It is worrying,” Sherpa told AFP.
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For around two billion people, Himalayan glaciers serve as crucial water resources around the mountains and river valleys. They are acting as the source for 10 of the world’s most important river systems. It also helps in supplying food and energy to billions of people. (Source: moneycontrol.com)