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Observations of Winter Ablation on Glaciers in the Mount Everest Region in 2020–2021

1
Department of Environmental Science, Nichols College, Dudley, MA 01571, USA
2
Department of Geography and Environment, Loughborough University, Loughborough, Leicestershire LE11 3TU, UK
3
Department of Geography and Planning, Appalachian State University, Boone, NC 28607, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Elisa Palazzi
Remote Sens. 2021, 13(14), 2692; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs13142692
Received: 20 May 2021 / Revised: 2 July 2021 / Accepted: 2 July 2021 / Published: 8 July 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Remote Sensing of the Water Cycle in Mountain Regions)
Recent observations of rising snow lines and reduced snow-covered areas on glaciers during the October 2020–January 2021 period in the Nepal–China region of Mount Everest in Landsat and Sentinel imagery highlight observations that significant ablation has occurred in recent years on many Himalayan glaciers in the post-monsoon and early winter periods. For the first time, we now have weather stations providing real-time data in the Mount Everest region that may sufficiently transect the post-monsoon snow line elevation region. These sensors have been placed by the Rolex National Geographic Perpetual Planet expedition. Combining in situ weather records and remote sensing data provides a unique opportunity to examine the impact of the warm and dry conditions during the 2020 post-monsoon period through to the 2020/2021 winter on glaciers in the Mount Everest region. The ablation season extended through January 2021. Winter (DJF) ERA5 reanalysis temperature reconstructions for Everest Base Camp (5315 m) for the 1950–February 2021 period indicate that six days in the January 10–15 period in 2021 fell in the top 1% of all winter days since 1950, with January 13, January 14, and January 12, being the first, second, and third warmest winter days in the 72-year period. This has also led to the highest freezing levels in winter for the 1950–2021 period, with the January 12–14 period being the only period in winter with a freezing level above 6000 m. View Full-Text
Keywords: winter ablation; glacier snow line; Mount Everest; winter glacier melt event winter ablation; glacier snow line; Mount Everest; winter glacier melt event
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MDPI and ACS Style

Pelto, M.; Panday, P.; Matthews, T.; Maurer, J.; Perry, L.B. Observations of Winter Ablation on Glaciers in the Mount Everest Region in 2020–2021. Remote Sens. 2021, 13, 2692. https://doi.org/10.3390/rs13142692

AMA Style

Pelto M, Panday P, Matthews T, Maurer J, Perry LB. Observations of Winter Ablation on Glaciers in the Mount Everest Region in 2020–2021. Remote Sensing. 2021; 13(14):2692. https://doi.org/10.3390/rs13142692

Chicago/Turabian Style

Pelto, Mauri, Prajjwal Panday, Tom Matthews, Jon Maurer, and L. B. Perry 2021. "Observations of Winter Ablation on Glaciers in the Mount Everest Region in 2020–2021" Remote Sensing 13, no. 14: 2692. https://doi.org/10.3390/rs13142692

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