The highest automatic weather station in the world will be installed on Mount Qomolangma

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Chinese scientists are stepping up efforts to establish a weather monitoring station at an altitude of 8,800 meters on Mount Qomolangma, the world’s highest peak. [Photo/Xinhua]

LHASA — Chinese scientists are stepping up efforts to establish a weather monitoring station at an altitude of 8,800 meters on Mount Qomolangma, the world’s highest peak, on the China-Nepal border.

If the station is successfully established, it will replace the one at 8,430 meters above sea level installed by British and American scientists on the southern slope of the mountain in 2019, to be the highest in the world of its kind, according to the Institute. of Tibetan Plateau Research (ITP), Chinese Academy of Sciences.

Equipment weighing about 50 kg will be dismantled and distributed to climbers, each of whom will carry no more than 7 kg up the mountain for the establishment, said ITP researcher Zhao Huabiao.

Currently, the engineers in charge of setting up the station are still waiting for the ideal weather for mountaineering.

Including the tallest, eight altitude-gradient weather stations will be installed on Mount Qomolangma, one of the main tasks of China’s new comprehensive scientific expedition to the world’s highest peak at 8,848.86 meters.

Three weather stations were established at sea levels of 7,028 meters, 7,790 meters and 8,300 meters, respectively, earlier this year on the northern side of the mountain, bringing the total number of operational weather stations to seven between altitudes between 5,200 meters and 8,300 meters. . Last year, four stations at sea levels of 6,500 meters, 5,800 meters, 5,400 meters and 5,200 meters were set up.

The new comprehensive scientific expedition to Mount Qomolangma is part of China’s second scientific research survey of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, which began in 2017.

Zhao said the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau is facing a warming trend along with global warming, and the higher the altitude on the plateau, the higher the temperature has risen.

Such a conclusion is only based on the data from weather stations at sea level below 5,000 meters and the estimated calculation in accordance with remote sensing data, because the weather monitoring data from high-altitude stations was lacking in the past.

The eight stations will collect data on wind speed and direction, as well as relative humidity on the north side of Qomolangma, and the altitude-gradient weather station system is of great importance in monitoring the melting of glaciers. and high-altitude mountain snow, Zhao said.

The expedition team will also install glacier radar and measure the thickness of snow and ice at the top of the mountain, he said.


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