MATT DICKINSON'S EVEREST BROADCAST: CLIMATE CHANGE – HOW IS IT AFFECTING THE HIMALAYA?

Travelling to Everest is giving me the perfect opportunity to observe climate change in action. The region is filled with many glaciers and climbers frequently have to travel across them to gain access to the high peaks. Climate scientists have published many papers recording the rapid pace at which these high-altitude glaciers are melting. Controversy has flared up about the likely date at which Himalayan glaciers may disappear but it seems one thing is sure: the majority of Himalayan glaciers are shrinking fast.
 
Earth Observatory provides graphic proof. The organisation takes historic photographs of glaciers from early expeditions and compares them to modern photographs taken from the same position. It is fascinating to see how things have changed. 
 
So, what will happen if the glaciers of the Himalaya do melt away? Will the mountain range become a desert? How will the people who live in this region be affected? 
 
One massive impact would be the gradual drying up of the many important rivers that spring to life in the high Himalaya. Many millions of people in Asia depend on these rivers for their livelihood. If the glaciers disappear so will some very important rivers.
 
Meanwhile, for our expedition, the Khumbu Glacier is our home. We are camped right on it and the creaks and cracks and groans are a reminder that this vast body of ice is moving, like a great icy snake, heading ever downwards, shaping the mountains in amazing ways.