The world’s highest glacier on the world’s tallest top is losing decades worth of ice annually due to man-made climate change, according to a new study.

While glacier melt has been widely explored, little research has been done on glaciers the highest on the planet, argued the researchers in the study, published in the Nature Portfolio journal Climate and Atmospheric Science.

“The answer is a resounding” yes,”and has been since the late 1990s,” said one of the authors, Paul Mayewski of the University of Maine, in a press release.

They installed the world’s two highest automatic meteorological stations to collect data, and answer a question: Are man-made climate change affecting the world’s most inaccessible glaciers?

The researchers said the findings not only confirmed that anthropogenic climate change had reached the highest peaks of the earth, but also disturbed the critical equilibrium provided by blanketed surfaces.

Researchers indicate that the glacier has changed from a snow-cover to an ice layer, and that this change may have set in as early as the Fifties.

Model simulations show that, as a result of solar radiation excess, melting and evaporation may accelerate 20 times faster in this region if the snow is broken into ice.

Beyond all effects on those who depend on glacial water, the present rate of melting would make Mount Everest more difficult, as the snow and ice cover becomes thinner for decades to come.

University of Maine

The University of Maine is a public land-grant research university in Orono, Maine. (wikipedia)

Abrupt climate change

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An abrupt climate change occurs when the climate system is forced to transition at a rate that is determined by the climate system energy-balance, (wikipedia)