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11.22.19
Old Bones

Climate Change Is Thawing out the Corpses on Mt. Everest

May 30th 19__Dan Robitzski__Filed Under: Earth & Energy
Colin Merrin/Victor Tangermann

Hello Again

As the world continues to heat up due to humanity-induced climate change, so too is the peak of Mount Everest.

The Nepalese government reports that glaciers throughout the Himalayas are melting away, and on Everest that means the snow and ice that covered the bodies of dead hikers is vanishing.

Climbers and guides are seeing more and more human remains: bones, limbs, and preserved bodies poking out of the snow, according to The New York Times. Though the ongoing climate catastrophe had nothing to do with their deaths, the resurfacing corpses are serving as a grim reminder of its toll.

Graverobbing

The increasingly-visible corpses dotting the path to the summit present a unique challenge for the Nepalese government and well-meaning climbers. Carrying a frozen corpse back down to the ground is a dangerous task that could kill climbers who attempt to do so.

But leaving the bodies serve as both physical and psychological obstacles for the people who climb over and around them.

“Snow is melting and bodies are surfacing,” Kami Rita Sherpa, a mountain guide, told The NYT. “Finding bones has become the new normal for us.”

READ MORE: As Everest Melts, Bodies Are Emerging From the Ice [The New York Times]

More on climate change: Scientists’ Startling Idea to Fight Climate Change: More CO2