Science/Health

Khumbu glacier drill expedition: Scientists to figure out the effects of climate change on glaciers

By Mharia Emmareen / 2017.04.11
An aerial photograph of the Khumbu Icefall along Everest's West Shoulder including Changtse at 5200m and Khumbutse-6640m May 15, 2003 on the Nepal-Tibet border

Scientists who are focused on the issues of climate change are geared for an expedition to the Himalayas. Their mission is to become the foremost group to triumphantly bore via the world's supreme glacier, the Khumbu glacier.

The expedition team is governed by the Aberystwyth University, Professor Bryn Hubbard in particular, stating that "particular challenges" should be expected. The project will make use of a drill which concept was taken from a car wash drill. This piece of equipment is expected to pierce into the Khumbu glacier located at the bottom of Mt. Everest. The group will pursue their mission at an altitude of 5,000m (16,400ft), being optimistic to figure out the effect of climate change in Khumbu, BBC News reported.

"Working in the field is challenging at best, but this mission presents some particular challenges. We don't know how well our equipment will perform at altitude, let alone how we will be able to contend with the thin air," according to Professor Hubbard.

His team will be joined by Professor Duncan Quincey from Leeds University saying that determining what happens with the glaciers is integral to forecasting its reaction to climate change.

Khumbu glacier is about 10 miles long and is situated in Nepal's northeastern region. It has an elevation of formidable as 7,600 meters or 25,000 feet down to 4,900 meters that are equivalent to 16,000 feet. Climbers generally traverse this glacier as their gateway to the Everest's base camp.

Glacierworks adds that Khumbu glacier is the highest glacier on planet Earth. Its icefall is very famous to climbers as they generally traverse this glacier as their gateway to the Everest's base camp.

A helicopter will make several trips to airlift half of the equipment to the Khumbu glacier which weigh 1,500 kilograms. The other half of the EverDrill team's equipment will be brought by Sherpas and their yaks.

The drill will create a jet of hot water with a pressure that is sufficiently high enough to pierce through Tarmacadam. It will run on three Honda generators that could possibly work at 50 percent efficiency rate because of lack of oxygen. However, the scientists are optimistic that the said project on the Khumbu glacier drilling will shed some light on how it reacts to climate change.

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