House Flies at Everest Base Camp Effect of Warmer Temps


photo: Rupert Taylor-Price via flickr.

Here's a pretty concrete effect of warming temperatures and long-term glacier melting in the Himalayas: The Guardian is reporting that climbers waiting to ascend the world's highest peak are seeing house flies at the 17,585' high base camp:Dawa Steven Sherpa says that sort of thing was unimaginable a few years ago, yet this year house flies have been discovered twice.

Climbing is the self-described family business, and Dawa tells how things are changing rapidly today,

Look at the walls and slopes of the [1.5 mile long] Khumbu glacier. You can see a clear line where the black rock becomes white. That's where it's been exposed to the sun. That means meters of thick ice have melted in just a few decades.

Ice Now Melting a Mile Higher Than it Used To
Dawa also notes that the permanent ice cover above his village used to melt at about 12,300 feet, but today it's melting as high at 18,000'. Furthermore, the village is seeing prolonged droughts of up to seven months, whereas in years past the longest period without rain was much shorter. This means that that the walk to fetch water is now two hours and trekkers no longer stop in the village, resulting in lost income.

More: The Guardian
Global Warming Effects
Everest and Himalayan Glaciers Could Vanish by 2035, Imperiling a Billion People
Global Warming Melting Glaciers, Shrinking Harvests in China and India
Some Himalayan Glaciers are Growing. Does This Mean Global Warming Isn't Real?

Tags: dispatches | Global Climate Change | Global Warming Effects | Nepal