Topic: GS3- Environment
- Concerns were raised by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres during his recent visit to the area surrounding Mount Everest.
- He disclosed that, mostly as a result of global warming, Nepal’s snow-capped mountains have lost about one-third of their ice in less than 30 years.
- The world’s greatest peaks, including Mount Everest, are experiencing an unprecedented loss of glacial mass, which is a symbol of the severe climatic disaster the planet is currently experiencing.
Accelerated Melting in the Himalayas
- The Earth’s temperature has warmed by 0.74 degrees Celsius on average over the last century, but the Himalayan region of South Asia has seen warming that is significantly more than the world average.
- Of particular concern is the frightening rate at which glaciers are melting in Nepal, which is situated between two of the world’s largest carbon emitters, China and India.
- As noted by Guterres during his visit to the Solukhumbu region, close to Mount Everest, these glaciers have melted 65% faster in the last ten years than in the preceding one.
Hindu-Kush Himalayas at Risk
- The severity of the crisis is further increased by the fact that scientists have warned that the Hindu-Kush Himalaya region may lose up to 75% of its glacier volume due to global warming by the end of the century.
- The 240 million people who live in the mountainous region could face hazardous flooding and water shortages as a result of this worrying prediction.
Mount Everest’s Changing Landscape
- There have been noticeable changes in the environment, according to climbers returning from Everest.
- Once known for its pure, ice features, the mountain is now described as being greyer and dryer.
- This change is a sobering reminder of how much climate change is affecting even the world’s most pristine and remote areas.
Urgent Need for Action
- Guterres called on nations to commit to keeping the rise in global temperature to 1.5 degrees Celsius in order to counteract these worrying trends and lessen the worst effects of climate change.
- If successful, such an endeavour might represent the final chance for the world to prevent the disastrous effects of unregulated global warming and the ensuing environmental changes.