Environment

Everest clean-up

Nepali climbers have retrieved four bodies and collected some 11 tonnes of decades-old garbage from Mount Everest and its approach below the base camp as part of a drive to clean up the world’s highest mountain.

Climbers returning from the 8,850-metre mountain say its slopes are littered with human excrement, used oxygen bottles, torn tents, ropes, broken ladders, cans and plastic wrappers left behind by climbers, an embarrassment for a country that earns valuable revenue from Everest expeditions.

The garbage, along with the bodies of some of the 300 people who have died over the years on Everest’s slopes, are buried under the snow during winter, but become visible when the snow melts in summer.

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Plastic Pollution

Humans on Earth eat at least 50,000 particles of microplastic on average each year and inhale a comparable amount as well, according to new research that looked at data from 26 previous studies. Some experts estimate the level being absorbed by people is actually much higher.

The plastic pollution is entering the human food chain and environment due to the disintegration of plastic bags, bottles and other litter, which has now reached virtually every corner of the planet.

Another study cautions that pathogens and other organisms have been found to grow on microplastics in fresh water, posing a potential threat to the health of humans and wildlife.

Environment

High Garbage Dump

Mount Everest has a mountain of a problem: trash. And not just leftover camping meals, beer and fuel cans, but human waste, too. Climbers traveling to the bottom of the majestic mountain for the first time might be surprised to find half-buried fluorescent tents, fuel bottles and other miscellaneous pieces of old camp sites strewn about the base camps. The various lodges and villages in surrounding areas have also created dozens of landfills surrounding the base of the mountain.

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Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.1 Earthquake hits Chiapas, Mexico.

Mount Everest Moved By Nepal Earthquake

The April 25 magnitude 7.6 earthquake in Nepal has shifted Mount Everest, the world’s highest peak, by three centimetres (1.2 inches) to the southwest.

Mount Everest has moved 40 centimetres to the northeast over the past ten years, with its height increasing by three centimetres.

Environment

Mount Everest Climbers, Guides Exposed to Cosmic Radiation

Climbers venturing to the summit of Mount Everest and back are exposed to a dose of cosmic radiation five times higher than that received by British nuclear power plant workers each year, according to new research.

In a report published by the Society for Radiological Protection, measurements gathered by mountaineer Bob Kerr indicate the dose received from an Everest ascent brings a 1-in-10,000 risk of developing a fatal cancer later in life.

The exposure is due to cosmic rays not being filtered out by the thin atmosphere at the highest elevations of the mountain.

“If someone received this level of dose at ground level, and if it was not due to cosmic radiation, then under the UK’s Ionizing Radiations Regulations, this would be classed as a ‘significant dose’ and would be at the annual public dose limit,” said Kerr.

But since Sherpa guides climb Everest many times during their lives, their exposure is likely to be far greater.

Kerr concludes that most guides and climbers are likely to be unaware of the radiation exposure they receive on the world’s highest mountain.

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Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms

No current tropical storms.

New Zealand – Storm continues to pose problems. Thousands are without power and roads are closed in many parts of the country as the remnants of tropical Cyclone Ita washes out the start of the easter holiday.

Residents in the South and North Islands are battling stormy conditions. Weather from ex-tropical cyclone Ita bore down across the country yesterday and overnight, bringing widespread power outages, flooding and slips in many areas. Those along the West Coast – one of the worst hit areas – have been working all morning to clear flooded areas and debris, with more bad weather expected tomorrow.

NewsBytes:

A landslide at a goldmine in Guinea has claimed the lives of at least seven people. The landslide occurred in the Kintinian area of Guinea, West Africa.

An avalanche on Mount Everest has killed 13 Sherpa guides. 9 others are still missing.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms

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In the Western Pacific:

Tropical storm Francisco is located approximately 167 nms Southwest of Andersen Air Force Base, Guam.

Tropical Storm Francisco is headed towards Japan – It’s been an active October for typhoons in the Western Pacific, and there is at least one more typhoon on the way. Tropical Storm Francisco has formed in the waters east of the Philippines, and is forecast to become a major Category 4 typhoon by Sunday as it heads north-northwest towards Japan. Models predict that Francisco will come very close to Japan on Wednesday, October 23.

In the Eastern Pacific:

Tropical depression Priscilla is located about 695 mi (1115 km) WSW of the southern tip of Baja California. Priscilla is anticipated to become a remnant low by Friday.

NewsBytes

Avalanche on Mount Everest has claimed the lives of at least four people. The avalanche hit four Australian tourists, accompanied by six Tibetans. Fatalities include three local porters and a 60-year-old Australian man.

A landslide in Dai County in northern China’s Shanxi Province has claimed the lives of at least three people at the Mingli Mine.

Transportation

Seven Britons were among 19 people killed when a plane heading for the Everest region crashed in Nepal’s capital.

Air Crash

The Sita Air plane came down minutes after taking-off from Kathmandu for Lukla. The aircraft crashed into a river bank and caught fire.