Mount Everest stands at 8,430 metres above sea level, the world's highest natural point and since Edmund Hilary and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay first summited the mountain on 29 May 1953 its snow and ice covered peaks and glacier has been an iconic image.
But in reality that iconic image is and has been for decades slowly but critically changing as climate change due to carbon emissions takes its toll on our planet and a number of recent studies show this rapid rate of change is increasing each year with spy satellites showing that since 2000 the rate of glacier melting has more than doubled with more than a quarter of all ice lost over the last four decades. Scientific analysis shows that 8bn tonnes of ice are being list every year and not being replaced by snow, with the lower level glaciers shrinking in height by 5 metres annually.
The scientific evidence revealed that the global heating caused by human activities directly caused the heavy melting.
Prof Joerg Schaefer, from Columbia University's Lamont-Doherty Earth observatory said "It looks devastating and there is no doubt in my mind, not a single grain of doubt that the impact of the climate crisis is what we are seeing" Schaefer went further to say "To stop the temperature rises, we have to cool the plant. We have to not only slow down greenhouse gas emissions, we have to reverse them. That is the challenge for the next 20 years".
A report published in February 2020 found that at least a third of the ice in the Hindu Kush-Himalaya ranges was already doomed to melt by the end of the century, even if drastic action to cut emissions was taken immediately. Without action, two-thirds would go.
Whilst the effects of climate change on Mount Everest and surrounding region are dramatic it is not alone in the impact that climate change is having on the planet and we are all effected. Increased heat, drought and insect outbreaks are all linked to climate change as well as changes in precipitation patterns, frost-free seasons affecting agriculture and growing seasons and health and wellbeing within cities.