The Daily Telegraph: IT’S the webcam that gives a whole new meaning to high definition. The world’s highest webcam has started broadcasting images of Mt Everest – the world’s tallest mountain. The special camera has been locked on to the side of a nearby peak, Kala Patthar, at a height of 5675m and is powered by a solar panel.
Designed to withstand howling winds and temperatures as low as -30C, the German-built MOBOTIX type-M12 camera is one of the toughest webcams in the world.
It is being used to document weather conditions on the 8848m Everest as part of an international climate and environmental monitoring scheme called SHARE – stations at high altitude for research on the environment.
The image is updated every five minutes and, like many of the world’s webcams, the Everest camera is likely to be beaming images of traffic jams.
In this case, the traffic is the ever-increasing number of climbers who have had to slow their ascents because of congestion on the most popular routes to the top of the world.
Researchers selected Kala Patthar as the camera location because it offers a magical view of the western side of Everest, including the north and southwest faces of the mountain and the West Ridge. The camera uses a wireless connection to transmit images to a laboratory and observatory located at an altitude of 5050m.
The video is analysed and then sent to Italy for further evaluation. Researchers hope to learn more about climate change by combining video with data collected by the world’s highest weather station, which is at 8000m on Everest.
Everest’s true height is still the subject of debate, despite first being measured in 1856 during the Great Trigonometric Survey of British India.
The survey claimed the mountain, then known as Peak XV, was 8840m high. An Indian survey in 1954 came up with a height of 8848m.
Two months ago Nepal – which uses the 8848m height – announced it would measure the mountain and close a running row with China, which often lists Everest at 8844m.
The project’s results will be known in two years after reference points are set up on Everest. Global-positioning system satellites are then used to calculate the precise measurement.
Started in year 2010, ‘Climate Himalaya’ initiative has been working on the mountains and climate linked issues in the Himalayan region of South Asia. In the last four years this knowledge sharing portal has become one of the important references for the governments, research institutions, civil society groups and international agencies, those have work and interest in the Himalayas. The Climate Himalaya team innovates on knowledge sharing, capacity building and climatic adaptation aspects in its focus countries like Bhutan, India, Nepal and Pakistan. Climate Himalaya’s thematic areas of work are mountain ecosystem, water, forest and livelihood. Read>>