Mount Everest: Climate Change Making It More Deadly?By: Toni Matthews-El - April 20, 2014
“In 1989 when I first climbed Everest there was a lot of snow and ice, but now most of it has just become bare rock.”
Nepali climber Apa Sherpa had been quoted by Discovery News about his experiences with perhaps the most formidable mountain on Earth.
It seems much has changed since Sherpa first tackled Mount Everest.
“Climbing is becoming more difficult,” noted Sherpha. He said that a snowier mountain allows one to wear crampons, important traction-devices, more safely.
“It’s very dangerous and very slippery to walk on bare rock with crampons.”
The mountain’s increasingly bare rocks also raise the risk of climbers being struck and killed by falling rocks.
One hundred years ago, no one would have ever expected a lack of snow to be an issue with Everest.
Some fear that global warming is the leading factor in the loss of snow from the mountain tops.
The lack of snow creates a host of problems that many experts fear may make the mountain even more unsafe for anyone trying to climb it.
Not only that, but the warming temperatures could be blamed for dangerous avalanches similar to what recently killed over a dozen people.
Researchers find that warmer weather can coincide with an increase in avalanches. If the snow on Everest is melting due to global warming, it could mean that the rising temperatures will make avalanches on the mountain more likely.
It has already been determined that the glaciers surrounding Mount Everest have shrunk by an alarming 13 percent within the past 50 years.
As scientists continue to monitor the changing situation with the famous mountain, persons desperate to put their name into the history books will continue to their attempts to reach Everest’s elusive summit.
The threat of global warming means nothing to people who feel that possible death comes with the territory of trying to conquer Mount Everest.
Image via Wikimedia Commons