Climate change melts Mount Everest's ice, exposing dead bodies of past climbers

Melting ice is turning up bodies on Mt. Everest. This isn't as shocking as you'd think.

Image source: Wikimedia commons
  • Mt. Everest is the final resting place of about 200 climbers who never made it down.
  • Recent glacial melting, caused by climate change, has made many of the bodies previously hidden by ice and snow visible again.
  • While many bodies are quite visible and well known, others are renowned for being lost for decades.
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Surprising Science

Dead – yes, dead – tardigrade found beneath Antarctica

A completely unexpected discovery beneath the ice.

(Goldstein Lab/Wkikpedia/Tigerspaws/Big Think)
  • Scientists find remains of a tardigrade and crustaceans in a deep, frozen Antarctic lake.
  • The creatures' origin is unknown, and further study is ongoing.
  • Biology speaks up about Antarctica's history.
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Surprising Science

We are heading for a New Cretaceous, not for a new normal

The climate change we're witnessing is more dramatic than we might think.

Image credit: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center from Greenbelt, MD, USA

A lazy buzz phrase – 'Is this the new normal?' – has been doing the rounds as extreme climate events have been piling up over the past year. To which the riposte should be: it's worse than that – we're on the road to even more frequent, more extreme events than we saw this year.

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Surprising Science

Impossible cosmic rays are shooting out of Antartica

No particle we know of can explain what's going on.

(NASA)
  • Cosmic rays have been discovered coming out of Antarctica.
  • No high-speed particle we know of could possibly go in one side of the earth and come out the other.
  • All of the proposed explanations are exciting, especially the most likely one.
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Surprising Science

Man-Made Glaciers May Be Himalayan Farmers' Last Resort

The European Geosciences Union predicts that over 70% of glacier volume in the Everest region could be lost by 2100. One man has engineered a solution so that life in these regions can go on.

Sonham Wangchuk's ice stupas. Photo: Rolex Awards

For Himalayan farmers, living at altitudes of 11,000 feet (3,500m), water availability has become a serious problem. The only sources of water in this arid land are the nearby glaciers, whose melting is essential for sustaining life in the summer. These glaciers, however, have been steadily receding over the last decade, removing the water source further and further away from the villages. The European Geosciences Union predicts that over 70% of glacier volume in the Everest region could be lost by 2100.

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Culture & Religion