Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Eco Everest featured in Earth.Google.com

The ‘Google Earth Outreach Showcase’ now features the Eco Everest Expedition 2008, which is raising awareness on the impact of climate change in the Himalayas. The expedition is being organised by Asian Trekking in partnership with ICIMOD and UNEP, and coinciding with ICIMOD’s Silver Jubilee celebrations. The initiative intends to draw the world’s attention to the problems resulting from climate change, pointing to the melting Himalayan glaciers as a graphic example.

Key findings of ICIMOD’s scientific research expeditions on the impact of climate change in the Everest region, which are taking place in parallel to the climbing expedition, can be downloaded from the Google Earth Outreach Showcase website as well as the expedition website and viewed in the Google Earth environment.

The ICIMOD application presents a range of scientific and historic data and information on one of the most spectacular regions in the world. Displayed in the Google Earth application, the information will help create awareness amongst a wider audience of the pressing issues of climate change in the Himalayas. The application also embeds dispatches from the Eco Everest Expedition in the form of text, photographs, and video clips. All the information can be browsed interactively. It includes

# Virtual repeat photographs: Examples of repeat photographs from the 1950s and today, showing the changes occurring in the Everest region. The full set will be displayed in an exhibition to be inaugurated in the early autumn. A limited set of photographs was displayed at Everest base camp for the launch of the EcoEverest Expedition.

# Dispatches: Embedded news and dispatches from both scientific and climbing expeditions from remote mountain locations tracking the expedition in near real time

# Impact of climate change on glaciers and glacial lakes: Case examples of three lakes in the Everest region - Dig Tsho (which burst in 1985 with devastating consequences), Imja Tsho(the fastest growing lake in the Himalayas), and Tsho Rolpa (where measures are being taken to reduce the risk of outburst)

# Multimedia and database: Multimedia video clips on climate change impact, including access to interactive glacier databases for the Everest region.

As Mr. Basanta Shrestha from ICIMOD says, climate change is one of the defining issues of our times and the impact of climate change is particularly evident at high altitude, as in the Himalayan region. The Everest region has been identified as one of the hotspots of glacial activity in the Himalayas. Out of 20 glacial lakes identified as potentially dangerous in Nepal, 12 lie in this region. The Imja glacial lake is the fastest growing lake in the Himalayas, advancing in recent years at a rate of more that 70 metres per annum. Several glacial lake outbursts have already caused devastation in the region.

Website links:

The Google Earth file is available through the official website of the Eco Everest Expedition 2008 http://www.ecoeverest.net.np/googleearth.php and the Google Earth Outreach Showcase website direct link http://earth.google.com/outreach/kml_entry.html#tEco%20Everest%20Expedition

A brief article with an overview of the expedition and its use of the Google Earth application has been published on the Google Lat Long blog.

Source : http://www.icimod.org/


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