“Today, glaciers cover a total area of 419 square kilometers, which is 21 square kilometers less than in 1962,” said researcher Owen King. According to him, the dimensions of the glacier are decreasing even at altitudes above 6000 meters above sea level. On average, glaciers have shrunk by 100 meters a year since 1960.
According to scientists, the Himalayas are a relatively little explored area from a climatic and ecological point of view. “The Himalayas need to be better known because about 20 percent of the planet’s population draws water from there,” said Paul Mayewski, head of the scientific expedition. According to available data, the average temperature at the top of Mount Everest has increased by one degree over the last 30 years.
Warming can make it easier for people to climb the highest mountain in the future. If warming were kept within two degrees Celsius of pre-industrial times, the atmospheric pressure at the summit of Mount Everest would increase from four to five hectopascals. “It would be easier to climb to the top without oxygen,” said the French daily Le Monde.
Scientists have tried to install a weather station on the mountain. For the first time, they failed due to the high number of visitors. Finally, the station was placed at an altitude of 8430 meters above sea level.
The mission, which had 34 scientists and resided in the area last spring, was designed to examine Mount Everest in detail and record the changes that the world‘s highest mountain is undergoing.
“The samples taken showed the presence of significant amounts of polyester, acrylic, nylon and propylene,” said researcher Imogen Napper of the University of Plymouth in the UK. According to her, the presence of microplastics was “confirmed in each snow sample examined”. The slightly smaller presence of microplastics has also been demonstrated in the waters of rivers and streams flowing from Mount Everest.
According to scientists, the occurrence of microplastics may be related to the high number of tourists and climbers who climb Mount Everest every year. Their equipment is made of found materials. However, microplastics could also be brought to the mountain by strong Himalayan winds.