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Dead bodies and bursting lakes: How climate change is changing Mount Everest – National



Dead bodies and bursting lakes How climate change is changing Mount Everest National


Mount Everest has stood the test of time as the world changed around it, but it may not remain the same much longer as the effects of climate change are starting to show an impact.

Studies have shown that climate change is contributing to how fast glaciers on the mountain are melting.

Ganga Ram Pant, CEO at the Nepal Mountaineering Association, says he’s seen snow lines that are shifting upwards as well as animal and plant life expanding upwards to higher altitudes.

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Michele Koppes, a UBC associate professor and Canada Research Chair in Landscapes of Climate Change, said the warming effects on the mountain have a cascading impact on the rest of the ecosystem — and the world.

“As places warm and they reach above the freezing point — above zero degrees — it’s kind of like a tipping point for a cascade of effects, of hazards that increase,” Koppes told Global News.

Here are a few ways that climate change is affecting the mountain.

Dead bodies and garbage exposed

There are some 200 bodies left on the mountain after death, Ram Pant told Global News, many of which are buried under snow and ice.

The bodies are sometimes left on the mountain because it can cost between US$20,000 and $30,000 to bring one down.

As the ice melts, more and more of them are being exposed.

Ram Pant expects a team from the Nepal Mountaineering Association to bring down three to five bodies this season alone along with as much garbage as they can.

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Landslides and icefalls

In places like Mount Everest where people have to climb through and on top of ice, the cracks are getting deeper and more dangerous.

That means there’s a greater chance of icefalls, Koppes explained, making the journey potentially more dangerous for climbers.

Along with icefalls, climbers and residents need to be worried about rockfalls or landslides, thanks to thawing permafrost.

Joseph Shea, assistant professor of environmental geomatics at the University of Northern British Columbia, said mountains are often “held together by just frozen rocks or permafrost.”

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“The warming is also melting permafrost that’s in the rocks,” Koppes said. “When it melts out in the rocks, it becomes unstable.

“And so there’s much more chance for landslides and rock falls.”

Shea explained it in more explicit terms.

“One thing we do know for sure (is) that rockfall hazards will increase so that is a direct consequence of climate change,” Shea explained.

Lakes bursting

As glaciers melt, water can fill lakes in the area.

But if they fill too much, they can burst through the barriers holding them back in what’s called a glacial lake outburst flood.

If the dams or ice that are keeping the lake on the mountain break, there’s little chance the lake will reform, Koppes explained.

That can have cascading effects on the water supply in the area.

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Climbing routes

The 2019 climbing season is getting underway in Nepal as a team of guides became the first people to scale Mount Everest this year.

There are 41 different teams with a total of 378 climbers who have been permitted to scale the world’s highest mountain during the spring climbing season.

The team of guides are the ones who affix ropes and make the paths up to the 8,850-metre-high summit.

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As the ice melts, new paths will be exposed.

“In some cases, it will make things a lot harder, and you may be exposed to more hazards like rockfalls,” Shea said. “But in other cases, it may wind up making it a bit easier because, especially in the case of Everest, if you wind up not having to go through a really heavily crevassed zone, that sort of reduces your risk of icefall collapses.”

What it means for the rest of the world

What’s happening on Mount Everest is similar to what’s happening on the Rockies and the coastal mountains of B.C.

“But the exact same thing is happening in all the mountains in Western Canada where lots of people don’t go,” Shea explained. “(Mount Everest) is just more visible and known because there’s lots of people there.”

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Koppes said that one positive effect of having more mountaineering and eco-tourism is that more people are now aware of the changes that are taking place

In Canada, “we’re seeing glaciers shrinking, we’re seeing changing water resources and habitat,” Koppes said.

“And so we should be concerned as well for our mountains and our communities that live in the mountains.”

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.


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Catholic Bishops react to military coup in Mali



Catholic Bishops react to military coup in Mali

Contrary to the expectations of the people, the leadership of the Episcopal Conference of Mali (CEM) has termed the Tuesday, August 18 military coup in the West African nation as “regrettable” and “a big failure for our democracy” and called for a change of mentality if the country has to put an end to coups.

In an interview with ACI Africa Wednesday, August 19, made available to RECOWACERAO NEWS AGENCY, RECONA, the President of CEM, Bishop Jonas Dembélé said that the governance challenges the country is facing can be managed through dialogue.

“The military coup that led to the ousting of President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta is regrettable because we are in a state of law and democracy. This is the second time that Mali has had a military coup as a result of the way in which the country is governed. It is a big failure for our democracy even if there were reasons for it,” Bishop Dembélé told ACI Africa.

“It is true that our country has serious challenges including bad governance, the poor management of the economy, corruption, insecurity and so on,” Bishop Dembélé said and probed, “Why is it that we Malians have not managed to engage in dialogue to be able to discuss these problems and face up to these challenges responsibly?”

“Our leaders, our people lack transparency, they hate those who speak the truth and advocate for good governance. This mentality must change for our country to move on,” the Prelate told ACI Africa August 19.

Bishop Dembélé who is a frontline member of RECOWA-CERAO urged the military officials “to ensure a return to democracy as promised but most especially ensuring the new leadership of the country put the people first and tackle the security challenges facing the nation.”

Asked about the role of the Church in the current crisis, the 57-year-old Prelate noted, “For us the Catholic Church in Mali, our role is to preach peace; our role is to preach dialogue. We shall continue in this path of dialogue for peace just like Cardinal Jean Zerbo and some religious leaders initiated.”

“In a state of law, power is not in the hands of certain individuals but to the people. The anger of our people led to this crisis, but we must work for peace and reconciliation in Mali,” Bishop Dembélé said.

He continued in recollections, “The Bishops in Mali have always issued messages before every election in our country sounding the alert and inviting the government to organize transparent elections, ensure good governance and better management of resources.”
“But it seems our messages are never taken into consideration that is why we find ourselves in this situation today,” the Local Ordinary of Kayes Diocese told ACI Africa and added, “If the opinion of the Episcopal Conference of Mali is needed to mediate in bringing back stability and peace in the country, then we are ready.”

As a way forward, the Bishop urged the people of God in Mali to “seek the path to conversion” and to accept dialogue in the spirit of truth and honesty.
“We all want change in our

country, but this change can only be possible if individually we seek the path to conversion. It is for Malians be they Muslims or Christians or members of traditional religion, to do an examination of conscience and accept personal and community conversion in order to engage in sincere dialogue,” he said.

The Malian Prelate added, “Now there is this coup d’état to demand change we really wonder where change should come from. As long as we don’t change our behavior, our mentality, we will always have a repeat of the current situation.”

On Tuesday, August 18, President Keita announced his resignation and dissolved parliament hours after mutinying soldiers detained him at gunpoint, Aljazeera reported.
“For seven years, I have with great joy and happiness tried to put this country on its feet. If today some people from the armed forces have decided to end it by their intervention, do I have a choice? I should submit to it because I do not want any blood to be shed,” President Keita said August 18 during the televised address to the nation.

Rev. Fr. George Nwachukwu

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Harris accepts VP nomination



Harris accepts VP nomination

Senator Kamala Harris formally accepted the Democratic nomination for vice president on Wednesday following a scathing speech by former President Barack Obama, who said the fate of the nation” depends entirely on the outcome of this election.”

Both Mr. Obama and Harris stressed the importance of voting, with Harris saying “we’re all in this fight together.” Harris sounded an optimistic note by highlighting her personal history and the promise of America, saying she was “so inspired by a new generation.”

“Make no mistake, the road ahead will not be not easy,” she said. “We will stumble. We may fall short. But I pledge to you that we will act boldly and deal with our challenges honestly. We will speak truths. And we will act with the same faith in you that we ask you to place in us.” She called Mr. Trump a “predator” in a speech that came after Mr. Obama issued his most forceful rebuke of his successor to date, saying Mr. Trump “hasn’t grown into the job because he can’t.”

“This president and those in power — those who benefit from keeping things the way they are — they are counting on your cynicism,” Mr. Obama said. “They know they can’t win you over with their policies. So they’re hoping to make it as hard as possible for you to vote, and to convince you that your vote doesn’t matter.

That’s how they win. That’s how they get to keep making decisions that affect your life, and the lives of the people you love. That’s how the economy will keep getting skewed to the wealthy and well-connected, how our health systems will let more people fall through the cracks. That’s how a democracy withers, until it’s no democracy at all.”

Mr. Obama and Hillary Clinton, speaking earlier in the night, both said they had hoped Mr. Trump would rise to the occasion. But they both stressed what they called his failures while in office, with Mr. Obama saying Mr. Trump has shown “no interest in treating the presidency as anything but one more reality show that he can use to get the attention he craves.”

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Mali coup leaders vow to hold elections as history repeats itself



Mali coup leaders vow to hold elections as history repeats itself

The Malian soldiers who forced President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita to resign in a coup promised early Wednesday to organize new elections after their takeover was swiftly condemned by the international community.

In a statement carried overnight on state broadcaster ORTM, the mutinous soldiers who staged Tuesday’s military coup identified themselves as the National Committee for the Salvation of the People led by Colonel Major Ismael Wagué.

“With you, standing as one, we can restore this country to its former greatness,” Wagué said, announcing that borders were closed and that a curfew was going into effect from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m

The news of Keita’s departure was met with jubilation by anti-government demonstrators in the capital, Bamako, and alarm by former colonial ruler France and other allies and foreign nations.

The U.N. Security Council scheduled a closed meeting Wednesday August 19, 2020 afternoon to discuss the unfolding situation in Mali, where the U.N. has a 15,600-strong peacekeeping mission. Keita, who was democratically elected in a 2013 landslide and re-elected five years later, still had three years left in his term.

But his popularity had plummeted, and demonstrators began taking to the streets calling for his ouster in June.

West African regional bloc ECOWAS had sent mediators to try and negotiate a unity government but those talks fell apart when it became clear that the protesters would not accept less than Keita’s resignation.

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