The ice that took around 2,000 years to form, has rapidly melted away since the 1990s, which means it has thinned out around 80 times faster than it formed
The highest glacier on Mount Everest has been melting at a rapid pace due to climate change. In the last 25 years, the South Col Glacier has lost over 54 metres of its thickness. This is according to new research led by the experts of the University of Maine in the United States.
The ice that took around 2,000 years to form, has rapidly melted away since the 1990s, which means it has thinned out around 80 times faster than it formed.
The glacier’s thick snowpack has been eroded, exposing the underlying black ice to the sun and thus accelerating the melting process.
This pathbreaking study was possible after a team of scientists and climbers visited the glacier in 2019 and collected samples from a 10-metre-long ice core for the study. The rapid glacier melt at the Earth’s highest points could bring worsening climate impacts.
These impacts include more frequent avalanches and drying-up of water sources which would affect around 1.6 billion people in these mountain ranges who depends on water sources for drinking, irrigation and hydropower. The current rate of melting would also make expeditions on Mt Everest more challenging.
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