Ms. Suzanne Goldenberg in late September 2011 completed an 18-day trek to the Himalayas with an international team of scientists from the Mountain Institute to study the encroaching effects of climate change on the region.
In an article published in UK-based The Guardian, Ms. Goldenberg described interviews with long-term observers, who reflected on changes well above altitudes of 8,000-meters, through signs such as trees that are growing at higher elevations and ice that is melting even on the southern approach to Mount Everest.
One climber and expert on Nepal glaciers, John All, commented that in 2010 he climbed the majority of the final approach without crampons because there was so much bare rock, which he said would never have been possible in the past.
Tshering Tenzing Sherpa, who has worked for years at the Mount Everest base camp, also expressed his unease as he stated, "Everything is changing with the glaciers.
All these crevasses have appeared in the ice." Conservation officer Birendra Kandel of Sagamartha National Park, which includes Mt. Everest, said that animals have been seen moving northward out of their traditional habitats.
Finally, water supplies for millions of people are being jeopardized as the glaciers melt, with potentially lethal dangers posed by lakes that form at their bases, which could burst.
Mountain Institute Scientific Director Dr. Alton Byers concluded by saying, "...At current warming trends, I would say that the outlook is not good, not good at all."
Our thanks, Ms. Suzanne Goldenberg, The Guardian, Mountain Institute scientists and all contributors for shedding light on the increasingly dire situation in the Himalayas. May humanity quickly adopt lifestyles to restore the fragile balance of these wondrous mountains and the many lives they support.
During an October 2009 videoconference in Hong Kong, Supreme Master Ching Hai spoke with concern about the melting glaciers and other treacherous tolls of climate change, along with the urgent actions needed to protect the planet.
Sources: Guardian link 1, Guardian link 2