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Video: Everest's Melting Glaciers

By David Sassoon

Jan 19, 2009

Mountaineer and filmmaker David Breashears has been climbing in the Himalaya for almost 30 years. He's climbed to the top of Mount Everest five times --"four times too many" he says now -- and he knows the topography of the region about as well as anyone else on the planet. Now, rather than conquering mountains, he's using his knowledge and experience to conquer ignorance.

He has been combing the musty stacks of libraries and archives for old photographs of the Himalaya, and then going back to the exact locations to make modern pictures. He's come back with the evidence of the loss of glaciers all over the world, documenting the present and accelerating reality of global warming for all to see.

Last week, he was at the Asia Society in New York for a conference called   where he filled a wall with two panoramic images of Mount Everest and its surrounding glaciers. One was taken in 1921; the other, Breashears took in 2008.

Eyeball the pictures and you'll see less ice for sure; but you won't understand the enormous scale of the loss of ice until he explains it to you. He explained it to us on video.

Please watch it.

And if you don't know who Breashears is, here are a few facts for starters. He broadcast the first live television pictures from the summit  of Mount Everest in 1983. A decade later, he co-directed and co-produced the first IMAX movie shot on the world's highest mountain. In 1997, he made the first live audio webcast from the summit. He's won four Emmys and written a number of books. Just Google the guy and you'll get more than 62,000 hits.

The Everest is not escaping

No exceptions for melting glaciers with the global warming that currently increase the global temperature of the planet. And it might become a domino effect, with those glaciers melting which will increase the heat absortion of the water and ground. Hope we can prevent the disaster.

I really enjoy reading your

I really enjoy reading your blog. Keep up the good work.

Overwhelming Evidence Will Never be Enough

True scientists are naturally sceptical, but they are persuaded by the objective evidence.

However, the trouble with the so-called sceptics / deniers / contrarians / propagandists / misinformationists, is that they have already made-up their minds and no amount of objective scientific proof will ever persuade them to believe otherwise.

Some wise words that may shed light upon this:

“You cannot reason a man out of an opinion into which he was not reasoned to begin with.” – variously attributed to Ben Franklin and Johnathan Swift

"It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it." - Upton Sinclair

There are two ways to be fooled: One is to believe what isn't true; the other is to refuse to believe what is true. - Søren Kierkegaard

World Glacier Monitoring Service

The work of the world glacier monitoring service

confirms with hard science that glaciers are mostly in retreat. Yes there are a small number of exceptions.

See their report here:

See also glacier repeat photography:

As Breashears comments, rapid melting of glaciers is a concern for areas where glacier melt is the only source of water.

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