Satellite Photo: Shrinking Glaciers on Mount Everest

Cnes 2004 - 2010 - Distribution Astrium Services / Spot Image

Mount Everest, Nepal

The Sagarmatha National Park is an exceptional area with dramatic mountains, glaciers and deep valleys where Mount Everest (or Sagarmatha in Nepali), the highest peak in the world (8,848 m), is located.

Several rare species, such as the snow leopard and the lesser panda, are found in the park.

The air temperatures in this area have risen by 1°C since 1970, leading to a 30% decrease in snow and ice cover over the last 40 years.

A high glacier on Mount Everest, located at an altitude of 4,000 m, is now a lake.

Glacier lake outburst floods are now much more frequent, creating serious risks for human populations with grave implications for the water supply in South Asia and the flow of major rivers such as the Ganges, Indus and Brahmaputra.


This image was first produced and shown at the UNESCO Outdoor Exhibition ‘Satellites and World Heritage Sites, Partners to Understand Climate Change,’ shown at COP16 in Cancun, Mexico.

Developed in close partnership with Planet Action, the German Aerospace Center, the European Space Agency and the Belgian Federal Office for Science Policy and supported by the Flemish government the exhibition traveled through Mexico, to China and to the UNESCO headquarters in Paris as well as being shown at COP17 in Durban.

RTCC, in partnership with UNESCO, will be showing one satellite image daily this week. All information, both image and text corresponds to the exhibition panels.

More information and the full exhibition can be viewed here.

RTCC VIDEO: Pasang Dolma Sherpa from the Nepal Federation of Indigenous Nationalities spoke to RTCC at COP17 about the threat to indigenous nationalities living in Nepal from worsening climate change.


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