Cool gigapixel shot of Mt. Everest shows global warming effects

Via Redorbit we learn of a very cool super-sized photo of Mt. Everest (click the Mt. Everest photo at the bottom of the landing page):

Filmmaker David Breashears has created a spectacular, two-billion pixel zoom image of Mount Everest to show the effects of climate change in the Himalayas.

The interactive photograph reveals stunning details of the world’s highest peak, allowing viewers to ‘navigate’ around base camp and the mountain.

Breashears captured 477 individual images to compose the gigapixel panorama of the Khumbu glacier from the Pumori viewpoint near Mount Everest. The images were obtained this spring from a vantage point above base camp through a 300-millimeter lens.

The photographer says he’s found evidence in the photo of climate change’s effects. From the Guardian:

By comparing his panorama with photographs from the 1950s, Breashears has been able to pinpoint just how much ice is gone from the mountain: “There are 49,000 glaciers in the Himalayas and most are showing a dramatic and accelerated melt rate.”

NPR’s All Things Considered has an interview with the photographer as well.

I’ve taken a series of screen captures below of his photo to show you some base camps for mountain climbers, circled in red, and how you can zoom in and see them in incredible detail.  The circle is very small and to the right in the first photo below.  You can find the actual interactive image here.

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Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Google+. John Aravosis is the editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown (1989); and worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, and as a stringer for the Economist. Frequent TV pundit: O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline & Reliable Sources. Bio, .

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  • klem

    Hate to burst your bubble but I’m a scientist, I work in an office with several scientists, science is what we do for a living. I truly love the scientific method.

    cheers

  • klem

    The forgot to Photoshop them in. A minor oversight I’m sure.

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    I could not see the climbers. I tried. Where are they?

  • samizdat

    Yet more flim-flammery and ignorance. Congratulations! If you hate the scientific method so much, why don’t you move to a 12×12 shack on the outskirts of some podunk Montana town?

  • klem

    Factually, glacial ice everywhere continually changes. The statement that human activity is the cause is factually incorrect, its more religious belief than anything else.

    cheers

  • samizdat

    Weeell…I wouldn’t be too hasty with that assessment. To whit:
    http://phys.org/news/2012-09-himalayan-glaciers-retreating-regions.html,

    From the National Research Council study. “At all” is a factually incorrect statement in this case, at least with regard to the eastern and central regions of the range. While earlier projections of Himalayan melt rates were indeed somewhat alarming, and disputed, btw, the reality is a bit more complex, at least for now. As the current climate catastrophe intensifies, we may see more dramatic rates of melt appear.

  • HeartlandLiberal

    You might want to actually look up some facts before you open your mouth and use that word.

    The 1,500-mile-long range, straddling seven countries including China/Tibet, India, Nepal, Bhutan, and Pakistan, has over 46,000 glaciers that fill huge glacial valleys, cirques, and perch on the faces of high peaks like Mount Everest. These glaciers, a huge repository of fresh water, are, like the ice caps in Antarctica, Greenland, and the North Pole region, melting. Right now it’s estimated that about 95 percent of the Himalayan glaciers are shrinking–the result of soot from coal- and wood-burning stoves, highway emissions, and industrial pollution in nearby countries. And as the glaciers melt, bare rock, which absorbs sunlight and warmth, is exposed, leading to more melting.

    Over the past few years, climbers on Mount Everest have noted that the mountain is changing as snow and glacial ices melts. More rock is exposed, making the climbing more difficult and dangerous. The mountain, after all, is mostly composed of loose metamorphic rock that is held together with ice.

    Now climbers clutter over talus chip-rock in their crampons where a dozen years ago they trudged across snow, which made the climbing safer and less technical. Ice keeps loose rock anchored in place but without the ice bonding, rocks loosen and are easily dislodged, tumbling down the mountain and sometimes striking a climber below–a scenario that happened just a few weeks ago, killing a 30-year-old Sherpa climber. This year the section between Camp 2 at 21,300 feet and Camp 3 at 24,000 feet has been the fall zone, with rockfall occurring on Mount Everest’s Southwest Face. It was so bad that several expeditions moved all their climbers back to Base Camp and found a safer way up the upper glacier to avoid being in the line of fire.

    This spring Mount Everest appears to be more dangerous and unsafe than ever before, based from reports coming from climbers on the mountain. Part of it is the glacial melting from global warming, while another part is this year’s unusual weather pattern which has generally been very dry with little new snowfall and some of the warmest temperatures ever recorded on the mountain

    http://climbing.about.com/b/2012/05/13/mount-everest-update-dangerous-conditions-cancelled-expeditions-global-warming-and-whiskey.htm

  • brooks

    You picked the most remote base camp, wonder who pitches up out there? You can find climbers all the way up to camp 3 and can kind of make out where camp 4 is.

  • http://twitter.com/nilbud Sean O’Nilbud

    Factually the ice in the Himalayas hasn’t changed at all in the last ten years.

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    Wow… Just, wow.

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