Nepal is considering transferring Everest Base Camp in order to address environmental concerns. According to the country’s Department of Tourism Director-General Taranath Adhikari, Base Camp’s location faces some risk from the melt of the nearby Khumbu glacier.
We have received many constructive suggestions from numerous stakeholders to relocate the team’s base camp. No final decisions have been made yet; however, we are seriously considering these suggestions. These suggestions include suggestions from the community, mountaineers, and environmental experts. However, we do not anticipate any major decisions made to Mount Everest in the near future.
It will take two to three years for researchers to make a decision, as research activities can only be conducted during spring. Some studies took place during this year’s spring climbing season, which generally peaks in May. Once involved parties complete their research, they will likely need to present a proposal to the Nepali government. Nepal’s Cabinet would have the final say on a decision. Adhikari cited “anthropogenic activities” — otherwise known as human behaviors — and climate change as issues affecting Base Camp. Khumbu glacier is melting at a speed faster than the natural rate.
Earlier this year, climate scientists among concerned parties sounded the alarm on triggering environmental damage at Mount Everest. Research by the Nature Portfolio Journal of Climate and Atmospheric Science exposed that ice in the South Col Glacier was formed 2,000 years ago and melted in approximately 25 years.
Paul Mayewski, the expedition leader and the director of the Climate Change Institute at the University of Maine, told CNN that the findings showed “a complete change from what has been experienced in that area, throughout probably all of the period of occupation by humans in the mountains.” The changes were not just in temperature but also in precipitation. “Nepal alone cannot reduce carbon emissions and global warming impact,” said Dhruba Adhikari, who is with the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development and coordinated a study on climate change impacts on Nepal’s glaciers. But he said that some measures could be taken to mitigate this impact on Mt. Everest and other mountains.