Anders Bekeken

100 Places To Remember: Sagarmatha National Park Himalaya, Nepal

Geschreven op 17-4-2010 - Erik van Erne. Geplaatst in Natuur Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail

100places to rememberAt the Head of the Sky, the Home of the Sherpa. The Himalayan glaciers are the largest mass of inland ice in the world, their size surpassed only by the volume of ice at the two poles. They feed rivers that supply a third of the worlds population with fresh water.

In the eastern part of the Himalayan range is Mount Everest, the highest mountain in the world at 8,848 metres. The Nepali call it Sagarmatha, meaning Head of the Sky, and the exceptionally beautiful Sagarmatha National Park is named after it.

This high altitude landscape of snow, ice, rock and deep valleys filled with sub-alpine vegetation is home to rare species of wildlife such as the snow leopard, musk deer and red panda. It is also populated by nearly 6,000 Sherpa people, with their unique culture and traditions.

In the last decade, two-thirds of the Himalayan glaciers have retreated significantly. The resulting melt is leading to the formation and rapid expansion of glacial lakes whose banks could burst and cause floods and landslides, with disastrous consequences for the people and biodiversity of the region.

The melting of the glaciers is subject to the self-perpetuating albedo effect. When a snow-covered area warms and the snow melts, the white surface of the ice shrinks and more sunlight is absorbed into the ground rather than being reflected back into the atmosphere. This causes the temperature to increase further.

If the current trend in global warming continues, the last Himalayan glacier will probably have disappeared by 2035. This would cause a substantial variation in seasonal water flow in the rivers and disrupt general water supplies. Mountain slopes and valleys would lie barren and agriculture, wildlife and human habitation would be severely affected.

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