Climate change also has an impact on the highest glacier on Mount Everest, so that it continues to melt rapidly. This was revealed in a recent study by researchers from the University of Maine, United States. As quoted from the BBC, the South Col Glacier area on Mount Everest in question, has lost an ice sheet thickness of more than 54 meters in the last 25 years.
The glacier is at 7,906 meters above sea level, thinning 80 times faster than before. The cause is strongly suspected to be hotter temperatures recently due to climate change situations and also strong winds
It said that since the 1990s, the ice sheet that took 2000 years to form has melted. As a result, the eroded snow makes the lower part more exposed to the sun, thus accelerating the melting of the glacier. “This glacier South Col Glacier may be ending its history, it may have been a relic from a longer and colder time,” said Dr Mariusz Potocki, one of the study’s leaders.
This incident can be bad for many people. Because millions of people depend on the Himalayas for clean water. If other glaciers suffered the same fate, the capacity of clean water for drinking or irrigation could be reduced. The thinning of the glacier layer can also pose challenges for climbers of Mount Everest. Future expeditions could be even more difficult, because there is more rock, not ice anymore. The researchers will also conduct further studies to observe this phenomenon as well as possibly apply preventive measures.
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