Global Warming is Melting Mount Everest Exposing Bodies of Long-Lost Climbers
- Mount Everest is the final resting place of about 200 climbers who never made it down. Now, thanks to Global Warming, those bodies are starting to melt exposing the remains of deceased mountaineers.
- A few bodies are even used as landmarks as is the body of Tsewang Paljor, also known as “Green Boots” is one of the most famous marks on Everest.
- It is unclear how many exact bodies have been removed from the mountain so far, but government officials said that the number of exposed bodies has steadily increased over the years.
Conquering the highest mountain has always been a conquest every human being have eagerly endeavored and Mount Everest has served as the most notable of these peaks. While about 5000 people have gotten to the top and came back down to tell the story, 300 could not and it is estimated around 200 bodies still lie on the mountain.
“Because of global warming, the ice sheet and glaciers are rapidly melting, and the dead bodies that remained buried all these years are now becoming exposed,” Ang Tshering Sherpa, who used to be the president of Nepal Mountaineering Association, explained.
According to the BBC, one of the challenges with removing these bodies is that government officials are required to be involved in the process. This has made it difficult to remove some bodies from higher elevations. Recovering and removing bodies from the higher camps can be both dangerous and expensive. The costs range anywhere between 40 and 80 thousand US dollars to remove a body, especially at higher elevations.
Recent studies have shown that Mount Everest’s glaciers are melting at an alarming rate, leading to flooding in local lakes and rivers. Scientists attribute the melting glaciers to global warming, and the issue is affecting the entire mountain range.
Not all dead bodies emerging from under the ice are because of rapid glacial meltdown. Some of them get exposed because of the movement of the Khumbu Glacier, mountaineers say.
“Because of the movement of the Khumbu Glacier, we do get to see dead bodies from time to time,” said Tshering Pandey Bhote, vice president of Nepal National Mountain Guides Association.
Experts say any decision over what to do with a dead body on the mountain is also a very personal issue. “Most climbers like to be left on the mountains if they died, So it would be deemed disrespectful to just remove them unless they need to be moved from the climbing route or their families want them” said Alan Arnette, a noted mountaineer