Climate Change Alert! Why Nepal Is Deliberating To Shift Base Camp Of Mount Everest – India.com
New Delhi: It is only when something hits home, when it gets too personal, that we realise the true value and gravity of the situation. Environment perils are one of those situations. Nepal is currently in a similar crisis because the climbers at Mount Everest are walking on thin ice, quite literally so. As the impact of global warming and heedless human activities is showing on the surface now, the government of Nepal is now forced to mull over the idea of shifting the base camp of Mount Everest. Senior officials have said that the current location is now becoming unsafe.Also Read – 7-Year-Old Punjab Girl Creates History, Scales Mount Everest Base Camp at 5,364 Metres
The current base camp, situated at an altitude of 5,364m on the Khumbu glacier where over 1,500 people gather every climbing season, is becoming unsafe due to the rapidly thinning glacier owing to the impact of global warming, Nepal’s tourism department director Surya Prasad Upadhyaya said. Also Read – World Environment Day 2022: Sudarsan Pattnaik Creates Sand Art At Puri Beach With An Important Message
During an informal meeting of the department, officials have discussed shifting the base camp of Mt Everest, the world’s highest peak, from the present location. However, no decision to this effect has been taken so far.
How grave is the situation?
Well, environmental activists have been blowing the horns about the alarming degradation of the earth due to climate change. There are islands across the world that are already sinking. With the current unprecedented climate activities taking place across the globe, it could not be more clear how bad is the situation.
Earlier in February, researchers in Nepal warned that the highest glacier on the top of the Mount Everest could disappear by the middle of this century as the 2,000-year-old ice cap on the world’s tallest mountain is thinning at an alarming rate. Several other researches over the period of time have warned and dropped hints abut the situation of Mount Everest.
It has been estimated that the ice in the South Cole glacier, located at an elevation of 8,020m is thinning at a rate of nearly two-metre per year. The melting water leads to destabilisation of the glacier. The International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) had said that Everest has been losing ice significantly since the late 1990s, citing a latest research report.
According to a report published by the BBC, mountaineers and the Nepalese authorities have highlighted a stream right in the middle of the base camp that has been steadily expanding. They also claim that crevasses and cracks are appearing on the surface of the glacier more frequently than before.
This makes the situation quite dangerous for the locals and the mountaineers who sleep in the proximity.
The BBC report also elaborated how the the increasing number of people at the base camp is another catalyst for global warming. With more people in place, more amount of fuel is consumed and burned which inevitably impacts and accelerates global warming
Consequences of base change
If the base is changed, the decision for which will only be taken after due discussion with all the stakeholders, it will only add a distance to the path. It is only being speculated that the new base might be shifted to around 400m lower to the current base. It means that mountaineers would have more lengths to scale up the iconic climb.
Mt Everest stands on the border between China and Nepal and mountaineers climb it from both the sides. While most of them prefer to ascend from the Nepal side, their number is surging in China as well.
Glaciers in the Himalayas make a significant contribution to water resources for millions of people in South Asia. Hence, the melting away of the pristine glaciers will eventually affect the lives of millions.
Is it too little too late for us now?
(With agency inputs)