Everest Image: Creator Says More Must Be Done To Tackle Climate Change

Dec 28th, 2012 | By | Category: Advocacy, CLIMATE SCIENCE, Climatic Changes in Himalayas, Development and Climate Change, Disasters and Climate Change, Ecosystem Functions, Environment, Glaciers, Global Warming, Information and Communication, International Agencies, Land, Lessons, News, Pollution, Population, Poverty, Sanitation, Technologies, Vulnerability, Waste, Water, Weather, Website-eNews Portal

The Telegraph: The creator of the four billion pixel interactive image of Everest has warned that more must be done to tackle climate change in order to save world’s highest mountain.

Since the image, made up of 477 individual photographs taken during the climbing season in spring 2012, went viral, David Breashears says he has “received thousands of comments”.

“I have heard from people who have literally spent hours of their time exploring it,” he told The Daily Telegraph.

The image is taken from the same position as a photograph by Norman Dyhrenfurth who, in 1952, took a black and white panorama of the Khumbu glacier. By perfectly matching his image, Mr Breashears, 57, hoped to document the change that has occurred during the intervening years and provide a very accurate record of the state of the mountain’s glaciers and snowfields in May 2012.

He stressed that the image is not meant to be stand-alone, and that part of its purpose is to enable scientists in the future to reoccupy the same position and keep moving data points forward.

The original purpose of the trip in May was to set up the world’s highest photo exhibit, ‘Rivers of Ice: Vanishing Glaciers of the Greater Himalaya’, which in turn led to the idea of creating a four billion pixel interactive image.

The summit of Mount Everest (GlacierWorks)

The climber and documentary-maker has expressed his surprise that the image has captured such public interest, yet he is quick to put forward a reason: “There is an enduring fascination for all things Everest [it] exerts a strong tug on the human imagination simply because it is the tallest mountain on Earth.” Of all the messages he received in the aftermath of the image’s posting, most were about the magic and wonder of the place.

“They are awestruck and thankful that they can examine the great mountain and the village and its base with such great detail,” he said.

When asked which features in particular readers should be looking out for, Mr Breashears struggled to pin point one section. “There is so much to see in that single image”, he said. “But perhaps the most compelling are the posters from local schools, which were made as part of a climate change project.”

The posters he is referring to, with Mr Breashears sitting beneath them, can be found by clicking on the bottom right hand green square in the image.

Mount Everest Base Camp (GlacierWorks)

Other significant features are the climbers in the Khumbu Icefall (second green square down) and “all the interesting details of life in Base Camp”.

Mr Breashears’s interest in climate change, with particular reference to its effects on Everest, is a result of his long experience of climbing the mountain. “Those of us who have climbed on Mount Everest for the past 33 years have seen the changes taking place under our own feet.”

The Hillary Step at 28,800ft used to be almost entirely under snow, but these days “our crampons scrape and scratch across hundreds of feet of exposed rock” and little snow or ice remains.

Perhaps one of the most alarming effects of climate change is that the rubbish disposed in the glacier’s crevasses over sixty years is now being exposed because of glacial melt.

GlacierWorks, the non-profit organisation headed by Mr Breashears has a mission to start dialogues over what is happening in the Greater Himalayan region by presenting imagery that’s compelling and fascinating and causes people to ask questions.

Mr Breashears stressed his feeling that “there needs to be much more research, good old fashioned boots on the ground science, to better understand the changes to the landscape and what it means to the future”.

He criticises what he sees as an over reliance on remote sensing from satellites as they do not have the resolution and ground truth that scientists in the field are able to collect.

The major difference between satellite images and those procured by scientists is the feeling one gets when examining them: “When I view satellite imagery, I feel a distance from the subject matter. In contrast, when I look at photographs taken on the ground, it feels more intimate, experiential and I am compelled to learn more. This is exactly what we hope to evoke in others – to compel students, policymakers and the public to learn more about climate change, its impact on the Himalayan region, and effect of that change.”

Source>>

About

Started in year 2010, ‘Climate Himalaya’ initiative has been working on Mountains and Climate linked issues in the Himalayan region of South Asia. In the last five 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>>

Himalayan Nations at Climate Change Conference-CoP21

Over 150 heads of state and government gathered in Paris at the UN climate change conference on Monday, 30 November, the largest group of leaders ever to attend a UN event in a single day. In speech after speech, they provided political leadership and support to reach an ambitious and effective climate change agreement by…

Read more…

Comments are closed.

seo packagespress release submissionsocial bookmarking services