|Himayayas getting warmer. Livemin|
A few decades ago when the scientists used the term Global Warming to mean the cumulative effects of decades of pollution on long-term weather patterns, people world over did not take it seriously. Nor did they try to know what was global warming all about. Because of repeated discussions at various fora by experts and more scientific studies, pouring out data on how fast the earth is undergoing various climatic changes, etc, now even ordinary people are concerned about various kinds of pollution and how they keep the earth's surface temperature warm.
Global warming means a significant increase in the earth's climatic temperature over a relatively short period of time as a result of the activities of humans. You will be surprised to know that
an increase of one or more degrees Celsius over a period of one hundred to two hundred years would be considered global warming. The increase in temperature may appear small, but its effects will be devastating as every thing about the earth is interlinked.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), a group of over 2,500 scientists from countries across the world, met in Paris in February, 2007 and made some of the observations:
02. Since 1860 of the last 12 years, 11years are considered the "warmest". It sounds really ominous.
03. Ocean absorbs 80% of heat and it is put into the climate system. It means more precipitations, powerful hurricanes, etc., across the globe.
04. The ocean' temperature has increased to deaths of 9800 feet. It will affect the ocean's ecosystem.
05. Both in the northern and southern hemispheres, the glaciers and snow cover have decreased considerably.
06.The frozen ground in the Arctic region has decreased considerably since 1900. It may trigger sea-level changes that, in turn, may cause flooding in the coastal areas.
07. Recently, hot days and heat waves have become more frequent than cold waves and night as a result of retention of warm surface temperature.
08.Yet another problem is green gas effects that keep the earth warm. Carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide, methane, etc keep the earth warm by trapping the escaping radiation and heat.
09. CO2 emission is a matter of great concern because it absorbs infrared radiation and the energy that escapes comes in this form. So, more CO2 in the atmosphere means more extra energy absorption and the result is overall increase in planet's temperature.
|Infographics | InsideClimate News|
Global warming and Mt. Everest:
|Global warming. KanglaOnline|
The following are some of the main concerns:
01. The pristine pure and spectacular peak first discovered by Edmund Hillary and Tensing Nor gay in 1953 has become a sporting ground for amateur and professional climbers since then.
02. Garbage dumps: Consequently, the standard routes to the summit have become dumping grounds of trash and littering spoils the environments.
03. Warming of earth's surface: Besides, the tallest peak is facing yet another problem - the impact of global warming of the earth. The snow cover is gradually shrinking.
04. Changing scenario on the peak: Peter Hillary, son of late Sir Edmund Hillary and Jamling Tenzing son of late Tensing Nor gay, in an interview with British newspaper 'The Independent', expressed their deep concern about the prevailing global warming that is radically changing the appearance, ecology and climate of Mount Everest and the surrounding area of Tibet.
|Mt Everest climate change. Pinterest|
06. Shifting base-camp: Peter Hillary says that base camp at Everest has slid from an elevation of 5,320 meters, when his father scaled Everest, to 5,280 meters and continues to sink each year.
07. Glacial melts and flooding: Because of excess melting the glacial lakes may break their barriers and cause massive floods down slope. People do not understand the enormity of such flooding. More than 40000 Sherpas are living at the base of the hills and face threats. Among the 9000 glacial lakes in the Himalayan region, 200 of them may cause glacial-outburst floods. Such floods release vast volume of water and the leave a vast trail of destruction of unimaginable proportion.
08. Glacial-outburst floods: Peter Hillary is concerned about the effect of glacial-outburst floods and their impact is equal to an atomic bomb.
09. Glacial flooding: A scary fact is there are, it is said, some glacial lakes which are 20 times bigger than the one that caused massive flooding in 1985. The flooding, being in a glaciated region, may bring down lots of debris and broken rocks that may cause severe damages to the residential areas down slope.
10. Loss of glaciers: It there is no let down in global warming, in the next 50 years, most of the Himalayan glaciers (some are longer than 2 miles) may gradually disappear. It is said in the next 30 years, 80% of Himalayan glaciers will be gone. Receding glaciers due to warm temperature is a recent problem. Glaciers in the area receded 74 meters in 2006 and prior to it was from 42 meters a year between 1961 and 2001.
11. Barren rocky slope: In the higher reaches, with no ice, the slope may look barren and dangerous because of glacial erosion on the rocks that causes sharp edges and cliffs. Rock slides will be common. Climbing the summit will be a tough job as the slopes and rock cliffs will be unstable and loose.
12. Loss of fresh water: Yet another worrying fact is 40% of fresh water is locked-up in the Himalayan glaciers whose glacial melts feed nine important rivers, accounting for one sixth of world's drinking water. So, the Himalayan glaciers have world-wide importance and their disappearance will have global ramification. Fluctuations in glacial melts means reduction in agricultural produce and less irrigation areas. Sherpas and others already reported the retreat of huge columns of ice formed by glaciers to higher levels and in some cases total disappearance.
Steps must be taken before hand to save Mt. Everest from the impending danger caused by global warming. When the tallest peak becomes barren without snow cover, scaling the tallest peak will lose all its charm and spirit of adventure.