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Observations of winter ablation on glaciers in the Mount Everest region in 2020–2021

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posted on 15.07.2021, 10:54 by Mauri Pelto, Prajjwal Panday, Tom Matthews, Jon Maurer, L Baker Perry
Recent observations of rising snow lines and reduced snow-covered areas on glaciers during the October 2020–January 2021 period in the Nepal–China region of Mount Everest in Landsat and Sentinel imagery highlight observations that significant ablation has occurred in recent years on many Himalayan glaciers in the post-monsoon and early winter periods. For the first time, we now have weather stations providing real-time data in the Mount Everest region that may sufficiently transect the post-monsoon snow line elevation region. These sensors have been placed by the Rolex National Geographic Perpetual Planet expedition. Combining in situ weather records and remote sensing data provides a unique opportunity to examine the impact of the warm and dry conditions during the 2020 post-monsoon period through to the 2020/2021 winter on glaciers in the Mount Everest region. The ablation season extended through January 2021. Winter (DJF) ERA5 reanalysis temperature reconstructions for Everest Base Camp (5315 m) for the 1950–February 2021 period indicate that six days in the January 10–15 period in 2021 fell in the top 1% of all winter days since 1950, with January 13, January 14, and January 12, being the first, second, and third warmest winter days in the 72-year period. This has also led to the highest freezing levels in winter for the 1950–2021 period, with the January 12–14 period being the only period in winter with a freezing level above 6000 m.

History

School

  • Social Sciences and Humanities

Department

  • Geography and Environment

Published in

Remote Sensing

Volume

13

Issue

14

Publisher

MDPI AG

Version

VoR (Version of Record)

Rights holder

© The Authors

Publisher statement

This is an Open Access Article. It is published by MDPI under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Licence (CC BY 4.0). Full details of this licence are available at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

Acceptance date

02/07/2021

Publication date

2021-07-08

Copyright date

2021

eISSN

2072-4292

Language

en

Depositor

Dr Tom Matthews. Deposit date: 15 July 2021

Article number

2692