Scientists from the western world have returned to Mt Everest this season to carry out researches in the high Himalaya region.
There would be at least two groups of scientists who will not only be standing atop the roof of the world but also doing different scientific researches in the high Himalayas, multiple sources in Kathmandu confirmed.
The National Geographic, the world leader in geography, cartography and exploration, is all set to run an exciting expedition of scientists on Mt Everest this season.
limbers acclimatising and adjusting to their environment above 6,500 m on the Mount Everest. Photo courtesy: Ronnie Muhl
Associate Professor in Geography and Planning at Appalachian State University L Baker Perry will lead the seven-member NatGeo expedition to the roof of the world doing research on different themes including precipitation, snow and ice, tropical glacier-climate interactions and impact of climate change, according to a source.
Apart from making a documentary, the NatGeo team is also planning to set-up different weather stations in the Everest region to study the weather pattern in the high altitude area. “Who’s who in adventure research such as renowned American climber Peter Athans will be part of the NatGeo’s scientific research project,” a source added.
The NatGeo Everest Science Expedition is also closely working with the faculty of Tri Chandra College to conduct research in the high Himalayas. “Details of the NatGeo expedition will be revealed in a couple of weeks.”
Last year, Perry had led an expedition to Peru to map the retreating glacier margins, survey amphibian populations, and make a variety of other atmospheric measurements.
Besides, founding director of the Mountain Environments Research Institute at Western Washington University Prof John All will also be leading another expedition to Mt Everest under the Everest Environments Expedition designed by the American Climber Science Programme in association with the MERI.
“During the expedition, the team will be collecting data to learn how high-mountain ecosystems respond to human land use and climate change, as well as analyzing how air pollution and dust deposition affect glaciers and their melting rate,” Prof John, who studies climate change in remote areas, said.
Students from the University of Colorado and Western Washington University would team up with Nepali grad students to study how climate change is affecting Himalayan communities by collecting air and water quality, botanical, snow particulate and sociological data on their way to attempt Mt Everest and Mt Lhotse, he added.
“Two members of the expedition will attempt to climb Mt Everest while three more members will head towards the top of Mt Lhotse while collecting samples for our research project,” he said, adding that the data would be compared to similar data being collected in the Cordillera Blanca, Peru, and 2009 data from Mt Everest.
An undated image of Mountain Environments Research Institute at Western Washington University Prof John All
The team will collect vegetation data in the lower elevation areas early in the expedition, to link with satellite imagery and compare to past expeditions and published studies, according to him. “Once we are settled into base camp, we will sample snow on the glacier for particulates – black carbon and dust, and we will continue taking samples all the way to the summits on Mt Everest and Mt Lhotse,” he said adding that the team would also monitor ambient CO2 levels and meteorological conditions in their sample locations and at base camp.
While climbing in Nepal in 2014, Prof All was struck by two life-changing experiences. First, part of his team was killed on Mt Everest by an avalanche. Then, mere weeks later, he fell into a 70-foot deep crevasse on Mt Himlung as they tried to continue high elevation scientific research after the tragedy. Pro All broke 15 bones – including 6 vertebrae – severely dislocated his shoulder and was bleeding internally. Somehow he found the will to climb the overhanging ice walls completely alone – with only one arm.
According to the ACSP, the team of US, European, and Nepali scientists includes Eric DeChaine, Director of the Pacific Northwest Herbarium at Western Washington University, Sébastien Lavergne, Laboratoire d’Ecologie Alpine, Université Grenoble Alpes, France, and Kamal Humagain, State University of New York, Potsdam. “Our local partners in Nepal include Hriday Lal Koirala, chair of the Central Department of Geography at Tribhuvan University, Ram Kailash Prasad Yadav chair of the Central Department of Botany at TU, and Jyoti Prasad Gajurel, an Ecological Consultant at the Nepal Rural and Advancement Committee in Kathmandu.”
This article first appeared on http://thehimalayantimes.com.The original can be read here.