Longest-ever Everest ice core to study climate change
Beijing: Scientists have obtained the longest ice core ever from the Mount Everest, measuring 142 metres, along with two other samples to aid in the study of climate change and provide new insight into global warming.
During the expedition that lasted more than a month, scientists drilled the ice cores at a mountain pass near the East Rongbuk glacier, which covers the north collar of Everest, said Kang Shichang, an expedition leader.
An ice core is a core sample from the accumulation of snow and ice over many years that have recrystallised and have trapped air bubbles.
The longest ice core obtained measures 142 metres, the longest one ever obtained from the mountain, said Kang, also a research fellow at the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau Institute, state-run news agency Xinhua reported.
The ice cores will be used to study climate and environmental change, Kang said.
Scientists have previously obtained ice cores at the same location in the late 1990s and early 2000s, respectively.
"The new cores will provide more detailed information regarding climate and environmental changes, providing new insight into global warming," Kang said.
The expedition also found a recent escalation in the melting of the East Rongbuk glacier, with some ice towers on the edge of the glacier disappearing and some new ice crevasses developing further in comparison to what scientists saw in the region in the 1990s, according to Kang.
"This indicates that climate and environmental changes have had an obvious impact on Mount Everest," Kang said.
Researchers will analyse stable isotopes and organic pollutants in the ice cores.