Mount Everest losing its layer of ice and snow
Thakuri and his team determined the extent of glacial change on Everest and the surrounding 1,148 square kilometre Sagarmatha National Park by compiling satellite imagery and topographic maps and reconstructing the glacial history. Their statistical analysis shows that the majority of the glaciers in the national park are retreating at an increasing rate, Thakuri said.
The researchers found that the Everest region has undergone a 0.6 degree Celsius increase in temperature and 100 millimetre decrease in precipitation during the pre-monsoon and winter months since 1992. “The Himalayan glaciers and ice caps are considered a water tower for Asia since they store and supply water downstream during the dry season,” said Thakuri.
“Downstream populations are dependent on the melt water for agriculture, drinking, and power production,” he said. The findings were presented at the Meeting of the Americas in Cancun, Mexico – a scientific conference organised by the American Geophysical Union.