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Everest warming: Greener mountains - fewer climbers?
image story

Nov 17, 2004 10: 03 EST
We have long been reporting about the effects of Global warming here at ExplorersWeb. The warming is affecting our mountains, the polar areas and the oceans. And fast. In fact, only a few decades from now we'll be paddling to the North Pole and scaling green Seven Summits.
Research shows that by 2020, the snows of Kilimanjaro may exist only in old photographs, and by mid-century, the Arctic Sea may be completely ice-free during summertime.

The glaciers on Everest are shrinking, and so are the glaciers in the Andes, the Alps and the French and Spanish Pyrenees (the latter could be gone in the next few decades). Even local mountains in US and pretty much everywhere else are getting greener, and so are the oceans - you'll have to travel farther for a good coral spotting opportunity.

Over the past few days, news are breaking everywhere that climbers and conservationists are asking the United Nations to place Mount Everest on a danger list because its snows are retreating rapidly as a result of climate change.

They are calling on UNESCO, the Paris-based organization responsible for the care of World Heritage sites, to designate the mountain and thereby place a legal duty on the world to protect the area.

The petitioners include David Attenborough, Chris Bonington and Reinhold Messner, reports AP.

It is not clear how exactly this protection will help the shrinking glaciers on Everest. It is also unclear if a placement of Everest on a danger list will call for restrictions to Everest climbing. Last year, Reinhold Messner pleaded at a news conference to allow only one expedition on Everest per route each season.

Image of a North Pole swim, ExplorersWeb files.

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