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14 Jul 2020 | News

A new high for HKH research: Our partnership with National Geographic Society

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Bringing HKH into the limelight
Tenzing Inka Nat Geo 2019 Heather Clifford
Bringing HKH into the limelight
Bringing HKH into the limelight
Tenzing Inka Nat Geo 2019 Heather Clifford 2

Photograph #1

A street performer around Bath Abbey.

Photograph #2

A street performer around Bath Abbey.

Photograph #3

A street performer around Bath Abbey.

Photograph #4

A street performer around Bath Abbey.

In 2019, National Geographic Society (NGS) undertook an expedition to Everest which included ICIMOD among a number of partners. This expedition included work on the highest glacier in world, Khumbu glacier, where ice samples were collected and multiple scientific research projects were conducted. Significantly adding to data availability, the expedition also involved the installation of five automatic weather stations (AWS) on Everest, with the highest installed at “The Balcony” at 8430m and the “South Col” 7945m. The AWS on The Balcony is now officially the highest AWS in the world.

We contributed to the NGS comprehensive map of Asia’s vital rivers building on scientific work to develop the first ever Water Tower Index. This collaboration with NGS complemented ICIMOD’s long-term effort of drawing much-needed global attention to climate change impacts in the HKH. It has also resulted in a range of communication products which will help highlight the value and vulnerability of the region.

Multiple academic papers are expected be published based on the data and information from the expedition. The July issue of National Geographic Magazine and the National Geographic TV Channel have featured the expedition. In addition, footage and photographs from the expedition are also being used to create educational materials, where ICIMOD researchers Inka Koch and Tenzing Sherpa are featured explaining AWS networks and how mapping helps us understand glacier and other environmental change in the region.

Here are some links to what has come out of this partnership so far:

Mapping change at the roof of the world
https://www.nationalgeographic.org/media/mapping-change-roof-world/

Inside the Everest expedition that built the world’s highest weather station https://www.nationalgeographic.com/adventure/2019/06/mount-everest-highest-weather-station/

Asia’s Vital Rivers
https://www.nationalgeographic.com/magazine/2020/07/asias-vital-rivers-perpetual-feature/

The world’s supply of fresh water is in trouble as mountain ice vanishes https://www.nationalgeographic.com/science/2019/12/water-towers-high-mountains-are-in-trouble-perpetual/  (See also, Importance and vulnerability of the world’s water towers: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-019-1822-y)

How alpine species are adapting to climate change https://www.nationalgeographic.com/adventure/2020/06/perpetual-planet-nepal-alpine-species/

National Geographic Perpetual Planet
https://www.nationalgeographic.com/environment/perpetual-planet/

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