Mount Everest

Narration: Alex Gardner


Gardner: The track we’re looking at today passed very close to the summit of Everest. It was only about 640 meters from the summit. Now one of the unique things about ICESat-2 is it’s actually able to see down into the valleys of these very steep topography areas where the glaciers are. And so there’s other instruments, like radar, that aren’t able to see the glaciers all the way down in the valleys. And so ICESat-2 is going to let us measure the changes in mountain glaciers so we can assess how they’re responding to changes in climate and what potential they have to contribute to sea level rise in the future but also changes in water resources. Glaciers in this region have been experiencing rapid rates of thinning. And that thinning is in response to changes in climate. Not only are these glaciers thinning, but as they thin, there’s less force pulling them downward. And that less force pulling them downward is causing them to actually slow down. So in High Mountain Asia we actually have glaciers that are thinning and slowing down as they respond to climate.