Scientists install webcam to spy on Mt. Everest

Mt. Everest now has a webcam!Research scientists focused on the impact of climate change on the Himalaya have installed a new webcam to keep an eye on Mt. Everest. The high-definition camera is part of a larger initiative called SHARE, or “Stations at High Altitude for Research on the Environment,” which hopes to track the retreating glaciers on the world’s tallest peak – something that is already having a profound effect on the region.

The webcam is actually installed on nearby Kala Patthar, which offers some of the best views of Everest’s South Side. The camera is powered by solar energy, which means it is only active from 6AM to 6PM local Nepal time. But when it is transmitting images, it auto-updates every five minutes, providing some spectacular images of the mountain. You can examine those images for yourself simply by clicking here.

The SHARE team also installed a sophisticated set of meteorological monitors on Kala Patthar as well. Those sensors are feeding back data on temperature, wind speed, barometric pressure, and the like. The data will be used in the long term by the scientists studying climate change, but it can also offer us a glimpse of what conditions are like in the High Himalaya as well. Weather buffs can view that data feed by clicking here.

With the famed Khumbu Glacier in full retreat, the impact of its shrinking size is already leaving an indelible mark on the local people. As small streams and rivers begin to dry up, many of the villages lose their fresh water supply, and are now forced to walk extra miles just to find the water they need. If that continues, the Himalaya could have a severe water crisis on its hand in the very near fture.