It's no secret that the effects of climate change are becoming more and more visible in many areas of our planet today. The most recent discovery to prove this involves the famous Mount Everest.
The most famous base camp on the great mountain is slowly moving further down the mountain due to the ice melt there - the ice that took 2,000 years to form. Climbers often report seeing deep cracks in the ice as they make their way up the mountain. But according to Nepalese officials, these cracks have been opening up under the tents at the base camp. "We have received recommendations from numerous stakeholders to relocate the base camp. While no decisions have been made yet, we are taking these suggestions very seriously," Nepal's Department of Tourism Director-General, Taranath Adhikari, told CNN Travel.
Mount Everest's Base Camp currently sits at 5,400 meters (17,700 feet) above sea level. With serious consideration being given to the suggestion to move the base camp, one possible location could be a further 200 - 300 meters (656 - 984 feet) down the mountain. Although some research indicates human waste may have some effect, with nearly 1,500 people at the site during peak season, officials maintain that the leading cause is climate change. "The mountains are probably 20 degrees warmer. Everything is melting much more quickly," John All, director of Western Washington University's Mountain Environments Research Institute, told CTV National News. The yearly rate of glacial melting has doubled in the last 20 years. Researchers predict that a slight rise (as little as 2 degrees) in global temperature over the next 80 years could cause half of the world's glaciers to melt away.
Officials have long been facing the challenge of balancing people's desire to climb Mount Everest with the needs of local communities in Nepal. With tourism being the country's fourth-largest industry, it employs 11.5% of Nepalis, whether as hotel workers or tour guides. Permits for those looking to take on the challenge of climbing the mountain cost $11,000 per person, with a portion of the money being set aside for local communities. And speaking of taking on difficult challenges, it looks like officials will need to continue working to find a clever solution to the ice melt caused by climate change. Something tells us we'll be hearing more about this issue. Stay tuned.