New research shows that glaciers in the Mount Everest region have shrunk by 13 percent over the past 50 years. The snow line has also retreated upward an average of 590 feet.
Mount Everest. Image courtesy of Wikipedia.
This region has also been warming, while snowfall has been declining since the early 1990s, according to the American Geophysical Union Report.
Location of Mount Everest
The research team, led by Sudeep Thakuri of the University of Milan, Italy, determined the extent of glacial change on Everest and the surrounding region by compiling satellite imagery, topographic maps and reconstructing the glacial history.
Most of the glaciers in the region were also found to be retreating at an increasing rate.
The scientists specifically found that the Everest region has seen an increase of 0.6 degree C (1.08 degree F) in temperature and a decrease of 100 mm (3.9 inches) in precipitation during the pre-monsoon and winter months since 1992.
The AGU report states that the decline of snow and ice in the Everest region is from human-generated greenhouse gases altering global climate. However, they have not yet established a firm connection between the mountains' changes and climate change.
This news is obviously sobering since water from the Himalayan Glaciers, and snow melt is extremely critical to downstream populations in Asia during the dry season.
Arctic sea ice melt season trend this year.
Last month was the warmest of any month on record globally going back to the late 19th century.
Why hasn't global sea level rise accelerated over the past 20+ years?
Researchers recently compiled a new historical record of sea ice extent in the Arctic going back to the mid-19th century.
The annual "State of the Climate" report was just released and the results are quite sobering.
One-fifth of the global warming that has occurred over the past 150 years has been missed by historical records