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Riled Up is a journal of science, the environment, exploration, new technology, and related commentary.  Contributors include scientists, explorers, engineers, and others who provide perspectives and context not typically offered in general news circulation.  For interested readers, additional resources are included.

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When A Tipping Point Breaks

When A Tipping Point Breaks

Manaslu in Nepal (credit: Wiki-commons)

Environments are stable until they aren't. An event at Manaslu, a mountain in the Nepal Himalayas, offered a good example of a tipping point having been crossed.

Manaslu is one of the famous 8000 meter peaks which represent a summitting goal for world class mountaineers. In a Sherpa guide captured a video of a hanging glacier (serac) when it disintegrated above the mountain's base camp on the trekking circuit around the massif. The serac had become stressed to the point at which the gigantic block of ice simply collapsed for all to see.

Whether this glacial event can be attributable to climate change needs to be determined but temperatures in South Asia have risen substantially in recent years. Major floods have occurred in the mountain valleys of Pakistan and northern India. While not at the same extreme heights above 8000 meters (~26,250feet) in Nepal, environmental conditions regionally have been amplified by increased atmospheric warming regionally.

It would not have been a wise time to attempt a summit bid on Manaslu and perhaps elsewhere in 'high hills'. WHB

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