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Is global warming destroying Mount Everest?

HowStuffWorks

This article details how things are changing on Mount Everest, the worlds tallest mountain. While the article doesn’t lay blame on the cause of the warming, it does describe what happens as the concentration of ice and glaciers changes. The article also goes on to describe the other great calamity affecting the area around Everest – trash.

Peter Hillary and Jamling Tenzing, in an interview with British newspaper The Independent, lamented that global warming is radically altering the appearance, ecology and climate of Mount Everest and the surrounding area of Tibet. Inaction, they warn, could lead to an environmental disaster.


Peter Hillary said that base camp at Everest has slid from an elevation of 5,320 meters, when his father climbed Everest, to 5,280 meters and continues to sink each year. The younger Hillary, who has scaled Everest twice, also warned of the effects of glacial lakes bursting. Glacial lakes that fill up with too much water can breach their natural barriers — which themselves are frequently made of ice — unleashing a massive flood.


If current patterns keep up, most of the glaciers covering the Himalayas could melt within the next 50 years; 80 percent will be gone within 30 years. Some of these glaciers are three miles long. Mount Everest would then appear as an enormous peak of mostly exposed rock with limited areas of ice.


But the biggest problem may be trash. It’s estimated that more than 100,000 pounds of trash has built up on Everest in the past 53 years.

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