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News Article | May 11, 2017
Site: www.eurekalert.org

Glaciers around the world are disappearing before our eyes, and the implications for people are wide-ranging and troubling, Twila Moon, a glacier expert at the University of Colorado Boulder, concludes in a Perspectives piece in the journal Science today. The melting of glacial ice contributes to sea-level rise, which threatens to "displace millions of people within the lifetime of many of today's children," Moon writes. Glaciers also serve up fresh water to communities around the world, are integral to the planet's weather and climate systems, and they are "unique landscapes for contemplation or exploration." And they're shrinking, fast, writes Moon, who returned to the National Snow and Ice Data Center this month after two years away. Her analysis, "Saying goodbye to glaciers," is published in the May 12 issue of Science. Moon admits she was pretty giddy when an editor at Science reached out to her to write a perspective piece on the state of the world's glaciers, because of her research knowledge and extensive publication record. "There was some serious jumping up and down," Moon says. "I thought, 'I've made it!' Their invitation was an exciting recognition of my hard work and expertise." But the topic, itself, is far from a happy one. Moon describes the many ways researchers study glacier dynamics, from in-place measurements on the ice to satellite-based monitoring campaigns to models. And she describes sobering trends: The projection that Switzerland will lose more than half of its small glaciers in the next 25 years; the substantial retreat of glaciers from the Antarctic, Patagonia, the Himalayas, Greenland and the Arctic; the disappearance of iconic glaciers in Glacier National Park, Montana, or reduction to chunks of ice that no longer move (by definition, a glacier must be massive enough to move). In her piece, Moon calls for continued diligence by the scientific community, where ice research is already becoming a priority. Moon says she got hooked on glaciers as an undergraduate in geological and environmental sciences at Stanford University, when she spent a semester abroad in Nepal. "For the first time I saw a big valley glacier, flowing through the Himalaya," she said, "and I thought it was about the coolest thing ever. After studying geology, the movement and sound of the ice, right now, made it feel almost alive.'" That experience kicked off a research career that has taken Moon to Greenland, Alaska, Norway, and to conferences around the world. She began her work "merely" as a geologist and glaciologist, interested in ice itself, Moon said. Only later did the influence of climate change come to play in her work. "I think I'm about as young as you can get for being a person who started in glaciology at a time when climate change was not a primary part of the conversation," says Moon, who is 35. She is consistently sought out by journalists hoping to understand Earth's ice, and she's sought out in the scientific community as well, recognized as someone who likes to collaborate across disciplinary boundaries. She recently worked with a biologist in Washington, for example, on a paper about how narwhals use glacial fronts in summertime--the tusked marine mammals appear to be attracted to glaciers with thick ice fronts and freshwater melt that's low in silt, though it's not yet clear why. After a couple of post-doctoral research years, at the National Snow and Ice Data Center and then the University of Oregon, Moon and her husband headed to Bristol, England, where she took a faculty position at the University of Bristol's School of Geographical Sciences. When it became clear that her husband's work wouldn't transfer, the two determined to head back to the Rocky Mountains. Moon started back as a researcher at CU Boulder's National Snow and Ice Data Center, part of CIRES, May 1. Twila Moon, CIRES scientist in the National Snow and Ice Data Center, 406-579-3088


LONDON, May 11, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- India Animal Health Care Market: Overview In terms of revenue, the India animal health care market is expected to register a CAGR of 8.0% during the forecast period, 2016–2024. The primary objective of the report is to offer insights on the market dynamics that can influence growth of the India animal health care market over the forecast period. Insights on key trends, drivers, restraints, value forecasts and opportunities for companies operating in the India animal health care market are presented in the report. Download the full report: https://www.reportbuyer.com/product/4895311/ The India animal health care market is expected to witness significant growth rate in terms of value owing to Increase in consumption of animal protein among human population, rise in epidemics of animal diseases, significant animal population and better technology and growing awareness about animal health management practices contributes to growth of the animal health care market. Moreover, development of novel drugs and vaccines against various animal diseases is creating high potential growth opportunities for players operating in the India animal health care market. Revenue from the animal health care market in India is expected to expand at the relatively higher CAGR due to rising awareness for veterinary care and development of strong distribution channel in India. To understand and assess opportunities in this market, the report offers market forecast on the basis of animal type, therapeutic applications and zones. The report provides analysis of the India animal health care market in terms of market value (US$ Mn). India Animal Health Care Market: Segmentation The India animal health care market is segmented on the basis of animal type: Livestock and Companion. The report begins with the market definition, followed by definitions of the different animal types and different therapeutic applications. The market dynamics section includes TMR's analysis on key trends, drivers, restraints, opportunities and macro-economic factors influencing the growth of the India animal health care market. Next, the report analyses the market on the basis of regions and presents forecast in terms of value for the next 10 years. On the basis of zone, the India animal health care market is segmented into North India, East India, West India, and South India. We have considered Year-on-Year (Y-o-Y) growth to understand the predictability of the market and identify growth opportunities for companies operating in the India animal health care market. Another key feature of this report is the analysis of key segments in terms of absolute dollar opportunity. This is usually overlooked, while forecasting the market. However, absolute dollar opportunity is critical for assessing the level of opportunity that a provider can look to achieve, as well as to identify potential resources from a sales and delivery perspective for services offered by animal health care market. To understand key segments in terms of their growth and performance in the India animal health care market, Transparency market research has developed a market attractiveness index. The resulting index would help providers identify existing market opportunities. India Animal Health Care Market: Competitive Analysis In the final section of the report, a 'competitive landscape' has been included to provide a dashboard view of key companies operating in the India animal health care market. This section is primarily designed to provide clients with an objective and detailed comparative assessment of key providers specific to a market segment in the India animal health care market and the potential players. However, this section also includes market strategies and SWOT analysis of the main players operational in the India animal health care market. Detailed profiles of players operating in India animal health care market are also included in the scope of the report to evaluate their long- and short-term strategies. Key players included in this report are Merck & Co., Inc. (Intervet India Pvt. Ltd.), Zoetis, Inc., Bayer AG, Elanco, Merial, Boehringer Ingelheim GmbH, Virbac Group, Ceva Santé Animale, Vetoquinol, Intas Pharmaceuticals Ltd., Cipla, Inc. (Cipla Vet), Cargill, Incorporated, Venkys India, Zydus Animal Health, The Himalaya Drug Company, Ayurvet Limited, and Natural Remedies Pvt. Ltd., among others. The India animal health care market has been segmented as follows: By Zone North India East India West India South India By Animal Type Livestock Bovine Species Porcine Species Ovine Species Poultry Species Companion Canine Species Feline Species By Distribution Channel Veterinary Hospitals Veterinary Clinics Pharmacies and Drug Stores Others (Direct Distribution, Pet Shops) By Therapeutic Type Drugs Anti-infective by route of administration Analgesic, Antipyretic, and Anti-inflammatory by route of administration Parasiticides by route of administration Dewormers by route of administration Others by route of administration Vaccines Live Attenuated Vaccine by route of administration Inactivated Vaccine by route of administration Download the full report: https://www.reportbuyer.com/product/4895311/ About Reportbuyer Reportbuyer is a leading industry intelligence solution that provides all market research reports from top publishers http://www.reportbuyer.com For more information: Sarah Smith Research Advisor at Reportbuyer.com Email: query@reportbuyer.com Tel: +44 208 816 85 48 Website: www.reportbuyer.com To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/animal-health-care-market-and-companion-distribution-channel---veterinary-hospitals-veterinary-clinics-pharmacies-drug-stores-direct-distribution-and-pet-shops---india-industry-analysis-size-share-growth-trends-and-fore-300456382.html


News Article | May 12, 2017
Site: www.gizmag.com

The famously elusive snow leopards of the Himalayas probably guard their fair share of secrets, but scientists have just uncovered one previously unknown, fairly significant piece of information about the enigmatic big cat. There are in fact three subspecies of snow leopard, rather than just one type as previously believed, with the droppings left behind on wildlife trails proving to be the tell-tale sign. The snow leopard covers a pretty expansive area, its habitat spanning 12 Asian countries and an area of around 1.6 million sq km (618,000 sq mi). For thousands of years the snow leopard ruled the mountains, feasting on wild sheep, goat and marmots, though these days its numbers are dwindling, with hunting and habitat loss the main reasons for its endangered status. Studying snow leopard populations in the past has been problematic, with the remote habitats hard to access, the animals hard to capture and fit with GPS trackers, and the ancestors of those in captivity hard to trace. Scientists are now starting to fill in some of the gaps with genetic sampling by gathering snow leopard droppings along wildlife trails and marking sites, an approach described as non-invasive and efficient. Using this technique, an international team of scientists has conducted what they say is the first range-wide genetic assessment of snow leopards. This involved DNA sequencing 70 individuals, with the team sorting them into three different genetic clusters that were differentiated by location: a northern group called Panthera uncia irbis in the Altai region of Siberia, the central group in the core Himalaya and Tibetan Plateau called the Panthera uncia uncioides and the Panthera uncia uncia of the Pamir and Tian Shan mountains and trans-Himalaya region. The researchers say that the patterns indicate some sort of "barrier effect," with the subspecies divided by desert basins in the region. Further studies involving genetic analyses are needed, however, to better understand how the different populations are structured and connected. "In a nutshell, populations that are connected with other populations, are more stable and have a greater chance of persisting," says Jan Janecka Assistant Professor at Duquesne University and research team member. "Delineating subspecies provides two main benefits. The first is a better understanding of the evolution and ecology of the species. The second is that it enables more flexible conservation measures, so plans can be developed specific to the challenges faced within a particular region. Our study highlights the need for transboundary initiatives to protect this species, and other wildlife in Asia." The research was published in the Journal Of Heredity.


News Article | May 21, 2017
Site: news.yahoo.com

A general view of the Mount Everest range seen from Tengboche some 300 km northeast of Kathmandu on May 5, 2017 (AFP Photo/PRAKASH MATHEMA) Kathmandu (AFP) - An Indian climber Sunday reached the summit of Mount Everest for the second time in less than a week, her expedition team said, setting a women's record for a double ascent of the world's highest mountain in a single season. Anshu Jamsenpa, 37, returned from the 8,848-metre (29,028-feet) peak on May 16, before turning around after a short rest to repeat the feat. "Anshu reached the summit of Everest at 8:00 am (0215 GMT) today for the second time this season, setting a new record," said Dawa Lama of Dream Himalaya Adventures. Jamsenpa, a mother of two, was blessed by Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama before leaving for the expedition. The current female record, certified by Guinness World Records, is held by Nepali climber Chhurim Sherpa, who in 2012 become the first woman to scale the peak twice in a season. She intended to make the summit in 2014 but the climbing season was cancelled after an avalanche killed 16 Nepali guides. Another attempt the following year was foiled after an avalanche -- this one triggered by a massive earthquake that left swathes of Nepal in ruins -- killed 18 people at Base Camp. Last week Nepali climber Lhakpa Sherpa broke her own record for the greatest number of summits by a woman after scaling the peak for an eighth time. More than 120 climbers have made the summit this season, with the first ascents delayed by high winds, fresh snowfall and unusually cold temperatures. There are concerns a high number of summit permits issued by Nepal could cause dangerous "traffic jams" on the mountain as climbers target a brief window of favourable weather before the monsoon in June. This year's climbing season has already been marred by two deaths, including legendary Swiss climber Ueli Steck who fell from a ridge during an acclimatization climb.


News Article | May 22, 2017
Site: www.bbc.co.uk

Nepalese Sherpas have a physiology that uses oxygen more efficiently than those used to the atmosphere at sea level. This is the finding of a new study that investigated high-altitude adaptation in mountain populations. The research involved taking muscle samples from mountaineers at 5,300m altitude and even putting them on an exercise bike at Mt Everest Base Camp. The Sherpas owe this ability to an advantageous genetic mutation that gives them a unique metabolism. It has long been a puzzle that Sherpas can cope with the low-oxygen atmosphere present high in the Himalayas far better than those visiting the region. Mountaineers trekking to the area can adapt to the low oxygen by increasing the number of red cells in their blood, increasing its oxygen-carrying capacity. In contrast, Sherpas actually have thinner blood, with less haemoglobin and a reduced capacity for oxygen (although this does have the advantage that the blood flows more easily and puts less strain on the heart). "This shows that it's not how much oxygen you've got, it's what you do with it that counts," concludes Cambridge University’s Prof Andrew Murray, the senior author on the new study. "Sherpas are extraordinary performers, especially on the high Himalayan peaks. So, there's something really unusual about their physiology," he told the BBC World Service's Science In Action programme. Unravelling what is different involved a substantial scientific expedition to Everest Base Camp where the high-altitude response of 10 mostly European researchers and 15 elite Sherpas could be compared. For participants like James Horscroft, whose PhD was based on the data he got from this Xtreme Everest 2 venture, this meant not just a chance to explore one of the planet’s most remote regions, but also a lot of pressure. “It was very stressful, because we only had this one chance to get our data, high in the Himalaya." For James, like all the others, those data included samples of muscle punctured from the thigh. While some samples were frozen to be taken back to university labs, others were experimented on in a makeshift lab at the base camp. “We had to start at seven in the morning, because it took four hours to do all the tests on one sample," James said. "At that time, the temperature could be 10 degrees below freezing, so we'd be all wrapped up and wearing gloves. By late morning it would rise to plus-25, and we'd be taking all our kit off!" What the biochemical tests on the fresh muscle showed was that the Sherpas' tissue was able to make much better use of oxygen by limiting the amount of body fat burned and maximising the glucose consumption. "Fat is a great fuel, but the problem is that it's more oxygen hungry than glucose," Prof Murray explained. In other words, by preferentially burning body sugar rather than body fat, the Sherpas can get more calories per unit of oxygen breathed. The result impresses Federico Formenti of King’s College, London, whose own trekking study a decade ago, monitoring oxygen consumption through breath sensors, suggested Sherpas can produce 30% more power than lowlanders. "This paper provides a cellular mechanism for what we found at the whole body level; that Sherpas use less oxygen to do the same job," he says. James Horscroft agrees the difference in performance is impressive. "It was pretty clear straight away that our tissue experiments were showing different metabolisms for the two groups. In fact, the difference was so astounding we were worried if the tests were working." But back in Cambridge the results were borne out. And a genetic variation altering the way fats are burned was established, too. While all of the Sherpas carried the glucose-favouring variant of the metabolic gene, almost none of the lowland volunteers did. Sherpas are a specific population amongst the Nepalese ("the Ferraris of the Himalayans", Formenti calls them) who migrated to the country 500 years ago from Tibet, which has been occupied by humans for at least 6,000 years. That is plenty of time for a beneficial gene to become embedded, Prof Murray argues. "It's not down to one gene, of course. We see better blood flow through the capillaries; and they appear to have a richer capillary network as well so that the oxygen can be delivered better to the tissues. But this gene would also have given them some advantage." Other recent studies have shown that some genes that help Tibetans survive at high altitude come from the recently discovered extinct human species known as the Denisovans, although there is no evidence yet that the metabolic gene is among them. The Sherpa study is published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. You can hear an interview with Prof Murray on this week's Science In Action programme, to be broadcast first on Thursday.


News Article | May 23, 2017
Site: news.yahoo.com

Nepalese Sherpas have a physiology that uses oxygen more efficiently than those used to the atmosphere at sea level. This is the finding of a new study that investigated high-altitude adaptation in mountain populations. The research involved taking muscle samples from mountaineers at 5,300m altitude and even putting them on an exercise bike at Mt Everest Base Camp. The Sherpas owe this ability to an advantageous genetic mutation that gives them a unique metabolism. It has long been a puzzle that Sherpas can cope with the low-oxygen atmosphere present high in the Himalayas far better than those visiting the region. Mountaineers trekking to the area can adapt to the low oxygen by increasing the number of red cells in their blood, increasing its oxygen-carrying capacity. In contrast, Sherpas actually have thinner blood, with less haemoglobin and a reduced capacity for oxygen (although this does have the advantage that the blood flows more easily and puts less strain on the heart). "This shows that it's not how much oxygen you've got, it's what you do with it that counts," concludes Cambridge University’s Prof Andrew Murray, the senior author on the new study. "Sherpas are extraordinary performers, especially on the high Himalayan peaks. So, there's something really unusual about their physiology," he told the BBC World Service's Science In Action programme. Unravelling what is different involved a substantial scientific expedition to Everest Base Camp where the high-altitude response of 10 mostly European researchers and 15 elite Sherpas could be compared. For participants like James Horscroft, whose PhD was based on the data he got from this Xtreme Everest 2 venture, this meant not just a chance to explore one of the planet’s most remote regions, but also a lot of pressure. “It was very stressful, because we only had this one chance to get our data, high in the Himalaya." For James, like all the others, those data included samples of muscle punctured from the thigh. While some samples were frozen to be taken back to university labs, others were experimented on in a makeshift lab at the base camp. “We had to start at seven in the morning, because it took four hours to do all the tests on one sample," James said. "At that time, the temperature could be 10 degrees below freezing, so we'd be all wrapped up and wearing gloves. By late morning it would rise to plus-25, and we'd be taking all our kit off!" What the biochemical tests on the fresh muscle showed was that the Sherpas' tissue was able to make much better use of oxygen by limiting the amount of body fat burned and maximising the glucose consumption. "Fat is a great fuel, but the problem is that it's more oxygen hungry than glucose," Prof Murray explained. In other words, by preferentially burning body sugar rather than body fat, the Sherpas can get more calories per unit of oxygen breathed. The result impresses Federico Formenti of King’s College, London, whose own trekking study a decade ago, monitoring oxygen consumption through breath sensors, suggested Sherpas can produce 30% more power than lowlanders. "This paper provides a cellular mechanism for what we found at the whole body level; that Sherpas use less oxygen to do the same job," he says. James Horscroft agrees the difference in performance is impressive. "It was pretty clear straight away that our tissue experiments were showing different metabolisms for the two groups. In fact, the difference was so astounding we were worried if the tests were working." But back in Cambridge the results were borne out. And a genetic variation altering the way fats are burned was established, too. While all of the Sherpas carried the glucose-favouring variant of the metabolic gene, almost none of the lowland volunteers did. Sherpas are a specific population amongst the Nepalese ("the Ferraris of the Himalayans", Formenti calls them) who migrated to the country 500 years ago from Tibet, which has been occupied by humans for at least 6,000 years. That is plenty of time for a beneficial gene to become embedded, Prof Murray argues. "It's not down to one gene, of course. We see better blood flow through the capillaries; and they appear to have a richer capillary network as well so that the oxygen can be delivered better to the tissues. But this gene would also have given them some advantage." Other recent studies have shown that some genes that help Tibetans survive at high altitude come from the recently discovered extinct human species known as the Denisovans, although there is no evidence yet that the metabolic gene is among them. The Sherpa study is published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. You can hear an interview with Prof Murray on this week's Science In Action programme, to be broadcast first on Thursday.


News Article | May 26, 2017
Site: news.yahoo.com

The Hillary Step, a rocky outcrop at 8,770m, just beneath the summit of Everest (8,850m), has finally succumbed to gravity and partially collapsed. At least it has according to mountaineer Tim Mosedale, who climbed the mountain this year. His claim has been refuted by the chair of the Nepal Mountaineering Association, however, sparking a debate which looks set to rage for some time yet. The definitive answer, after all, is located only a few metres short of the top of the world. Named after Sir Edmund Hillary – the first to reach the summit of Everest, with Sherpa Tenzing Norgay, in May 1953 – this rocky structure certainly has a noble heritage in mountaineering circles. It is the last major obstacle encountered on the South Col route before reaching the summit. But it also famed in geological circles. It is, or was, formed of a resistant limestone band along the base of the Qomolangma Formation which dates back to the Upper Cambrian or Lower Ordovician age. These rocks feature tiny remnants of crinoid ossicles (stems of sea lillies) that originally lived in a shallow tropical ocean 450m years ago and can now be found on the summit of Everest. If the Hillary Step has indeed collapsed, the rockfall will have altered the standard route to the top. And this may result in increasing congestion as parties queue up to get to the summit during the brief period of stable, pre-monsoon climbing conditions in May. As Mosedale told Planet Mountain: It’s easier going up the snow slope and indeed for inexperienced climbers and mountaineers there’s less “climbing” to be done, making it much easier for them. However, it’s going to form a bottleneck. The Hillary Step often formed a bottleneck but some years ago they fixed an up and a down rope. In the current state it would be difficult to safely negotiate down where the step used to be on account of the huge unstable rocks that are perched on the route. Ultimately, however, the demise of the Hillary Step would be but a small blip in the long-term process of Himalayan mountain building. The collision and ongoing convergence of the Indian plate into Asia results in convergence across the Himalaya of about 18-20mm per year and an average uplift rate of the mountains of about 3-4mm per year. As the mountains are driven upwards by these tectonic forces, climatic and geographic forces – such as rain and snowfall, and glacial and river incision – conspire to bring them back down through erosion. The tectonic forces have been winning this battle for at least 25m years and the highest Himalayan peaks now reach nearly 9km above mean sea-level. The steeper the cliff faces, the more subject they are to rockfall and avalanches, and seasonal freeze-thaw cycles are important factors in making the rocks unstable. The collapse of the Hillary Step would be just one minor event in the broad scheme of uplift and erosion along the Himalaya. Recent previous examples of large-scale rockfalls include the massive rockfall on the west flank of Annapurna IV (7,525 metres) in spring 2012, which resulted in debris blocking the course of the upper Seti river in Nepal. A lake built up behind the blockage and a few days later, on May 5, 2012, a massive mud-flow cascaded down the valley burying villages and killing 72 people. The flows reached as far as Pokhara, the second city of Nepal. During the Gorkha earthquake (magnitude 7.9) in Nepal on April 25, 2015, hundreds of rockfalls resulted from the intense ground shaking, sending boulders the size of houses tumbling down to the valleys and villages below. It has been hypothesised that this earthquake might have done for the Hillary Step. Perhaps the worst example was the massive rockfall that occurred on the south face of Langtang Lirung following the May 12 aftershock. The landslide originated from high on the south face of Langtang Lirung and the resulting rockfall completely buried the village of Langtang, killing at least 300 people. In 1991, a large rockfall also occurred near the summit of Mount Cook in New Zealand, reducing its height from 3,764 metres to 3,724 metres. During June 2005, a series of major rockfalls caused most of the granite south-west pillar of the Aiguille de Dru in the French Alps (commonly known as the Bonatti Pillar) to collapse, wiping out one of the most famous Alpine rock climbs of all. The scar of this rockfall was more than 500 metres high and 80 metres wide. All part of the process But the story of mountains is a very, very long one – and it contains a great many twists and turns. The India-Asia plate collision has been going on for at least 50m years. The tectonic forces push them up and erosion tries to wear them down. Everest is continually being jacked up by this under-thrusting of the Indian plate and, as long as India continues to push north, indenting into Asia, the Himalaya will continue to rise. As long as the Himalaya continue to rise, the forces of nature will erode them away and attempt to reduce these magnificent mountains back down to sea-level. And as long as that happens, they will keep changing shape. Long may tectonic forces prevail in this battle. This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.


News Article | May 26, 2017
Site: www.chromatographytechniques.com

The Hillary Step, a rocky outcrop at 8,770m, just beneath the summit of Everest (8,850m), has finally succumbed to gravity and partially collapsed. At least it has according to mountaineer Tim Mosedale, who climbed the mountain this year. His claim has been refuted by the chair of the Nepal Mountaineering Association, however, sparking a debate that looks set to rage for some time yet. The definitive answer, after all, is located only a few meters short of the top of the world. Named after Sir Edmund Hillary – the first to reach the summit of Everest, with Sherpa Tenzing Norgay, in May 1953 – this rocky structure certainly has a noble heritage in mountaineering circles. It is the last major obstacle encountered on the South Col route before reaching the summit. But it also famed in geological circles. It is, or was, formed of a resistant limestone band along the base of the Qomolangma Formation which dates back to the Upper Cambrian or Lower Ordovician age. These rocks feature tiny remnants of crinoid ossicles (stems of sea lillies) that originally lived in a shallow tropical ocean 450m years ago and can now be found on the summit of Everest. If the Hillary Step has indeed collapsed, the rockfall will have altered the standard route to the top. And this may result in increasing congestion as parties queue up to get to the summit during the brief period of stable, pre-monsoon climbing conditions in May. As Mosedale told Planet Mountain: It’s easier going up the snow slope and indeed for inexperienced climbers and mountaineers there’s less “climbing” to be done, making it much easier for them. However, it’s going to form a bottleneck. The Hillary Step often formed a bottleneck but some years ago they fixed an up and a down rope. In the current state it would be difficult to safely negotiate down where the step used to be on account of the huge unstable rocks that are perched on the route. The end of an era? Ultimately, however, the demise of the Hillary Step would be but a small blip in the long-term process of Himalayan mountain building. The collision and ongoing convergence of the Indian plate into Asia results in convergence across the Himalaya of about 18-20mm per year and an average uplift rate of the mountains of about 3-4mm per year. As the mountains are driven upwards by these tectonic forces, climatic and geographic forces – such as rain and snowfall, and glacial and river incision – conspire to bring them back down through erosion. The tectonic forces have been winning this battle for at least 25m years and the highest Himalayan peaks now reach nearly 9km above mean sea-level. The steeper the cliff faces, the more subject they are to rockfall and avalanches, and seasonal freeze-thaw cycles are important factors in making the rocks unstable. The collapse of the Hillary Step would be just one minor event in the broad scheme of uplift and erosion along the Himalaya. Recent previous examples of large-scale rockfalls include the massive rockfall on the west flank of Annapurna IV (7,525 metres) in spring 2012, which resulted in debris blocking the course of the upper Seti river in Nepal. A lake built up behind the blockage and a few days later, on May 5, 2012, a massive mud-flow cascaded down the valley burying villages and killing 72 people. The flows reached as far as Pokhara, the second city of Nepal. During the Gorkha earthquake (magnitude 7.9) in Nepal on April 25, 2015, hundreds of rockfalls resulted from the intense ground shaking, sending boulders the size of houses tumbling down to the valleys and villages below. It has been hypothesized that this earthquake might have done for the Hillary Step. Perhaps the worst example was the massive rockfall that occurred on the south face of Langtang Lirung following the May 12 aftershock. The landslide originated from high on the south face of Langtang Lirung and the resulting rockfall completely buried the village of Langtang, killing at least 300 people. In 1991, a large rockfall also occurred near the summit of Mount Cook in New Zealand, reducing its height from 3,764 meters to 3,724 meters. During June 2005, a series of major rockfalls caused most of the granite south-west pillar of the Aiguille de Dru in the French Alps (commonly known as the Bonatti Pillar) to collapse, wiping out one of the most famous Alpine rock climbs of all. The scar of this rockfall was more than 500 meters high and 80 meters wide. All part of the process But the story of mountains is a very, very long one – and it contains a great many twists and turns. The India-Asia plate collision has been going on for at least 50m years. The tectonic forces push them up and erosion tries to wear them down. Everest is continually being jacked up by this under-thrusting of the Indian plate and, as long as India continues to push north, indenting into Asia, the Himalaya will continue to rise. As long as the Himalaya continue to rise, the forces of nature will erode them away and attempt to reduce these magnificent mountains back down to sea-level. And as long as that happens, they will keep changing shape. Long may tectonic forces prevail in this battle. This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.


News Article | May 26, 2017
Site: www.chromatographytechniques.com

The Hillary Step, a rocky outcrop at 8,770m, just beneath the summit of Everest (8,850m), has finally succumbed to gravity and partially collapsed. At least it has according to mountaineer Tim Mosedale, who climbed the mountain this year. His claim has been refuted by the chair of the Nepal Mountaineering Association, however, sparking a debate that looks set to rage for some time yet. The definitive answer, after all, is located only a few meters short of the top of the world. Named after Sir Edmund Hillary – the first to reach the summit of Everest, with Sherpa Tenzing Norgay, in May 1953 – this rocky structure certainly has a noble heritage in mountaineering circles. It is the last major obstacle encountered on the South Col route before reaching the summit. But it also famed in geological circles. It is, or was, formed of a resistant limestone band along the base of the Qomolangma Formation which dates back to the Upper Cambrian or Lower Ordovician age. These rocks feature tiny remnants of crinoid ossicles (stems of sea lillies) that originally lived in a shallow tropical ocean 450m years ago and can now be found on the summit of Everest. If the Hillary Step has indeed collapsed, the rockfall will have altered the standard route to the top. And this may result in increasing congestion as parties queue up to get to the summit during the brief period of stable, pre-monsoon climbing conditions in May. As Mosedale told Planet Mountain: It’s easier going up the snow slope and indeed for inexperienced climbers and mountaineers there’s less “climbing” to be done, making it much easier for them. However, it’s going to form a bottleneck. The Hillary Step often formed a bottleneck but some years ago they fixed an up and a down rope. In the current state it would be difficult to safely negotiate down where the step used to be on account of the huge unstable rocks that are perched on the route. The end of an era? Ultimately, however, the demise of the Hillary Step would be but a small blip in the long-term process of Himalayan mountain building. The collision and ongoing convergence of the Indian plate into Asia results in convergence across the Himalaya of about 18-20mm per year and an average uplift rate of the mountains of about 3-4mm per year. As the mountains are driven upwards by these tectonic forces, climatic and geographic forces – such as rain and snowfall, and glacial and river incision – conspire to bring them back down through erosion. The tectonic forces have been winning this battle for at least 25m years and the highest Himalayan peaks now reach nearly 9km above mean sea-level. The steeper the cliff faces, the more subject they are to rockfall and avalanches, and seasonal freeze-thaw cycles are important factors in making the rocks unstable. The collapse of the Hillary Step would be just one minor event in the broad scheme of uplift and erosion along the Himalaya. Recent previous examples of large-scale rockfalls include the massive rockfall on the west flank of Annapurna IV (7,525 metres) in spring 2012, which resulted in debris blocking the course of the upper Seti river in Nepal. A lake built up behind the blockage and a few days later, on May 5, 2012, a massive mud-flow cascaded down the valley burying villages and killing 72 people. The flows reached as far as Pokhara, the second city of Nepal. During the Gorkha earthquake (magnitude 7.9) in Nepal on April 25, 2015, hundreds of rockfalls resulted from the intense ground shaking, sending boulders the size of houses tumbling down to the valleys and villages below. It has been hypothesized that this earthquake might have done for the Hillary Step. Perhaps the worst example was the massive rockfall that occurred on the south face of Langtang Lirung following the May 12 aftershock. The landslide originated from high on the south face of Langtang Lirung and the resulting rockfall completely buried the village of Langtang, killing at least 300 people. In 1991, a large rockfall also occurred near the summit of Mount Cook in New Zealand, reducing its height from 3,764 meters to 3,724 meters. During June 2005, a series of major rockfalls caused most of the granite south-west pillar of the Aiguille de Dru in the French Alps (commonly known as the Bonatti Pillar) to collapse, wiping out one of the most famous Alpine rock climbs of all. The scar of this rockfall was more than 500 meters high and 80 meters wide. All part of the process But the story of mountains is a very, very long one – and it contains a great many twists and turns. The India-Asia plate collision has been going on for at least 50m years. The tectonic forces push them up and erosion tries to wear them down. Everest is continually being jacked up by this under-thrusting of the Indian plate and, as long as India continues to push north, indenting into Asia, the Himalaya will continue to rise. As long as the Himalaya continue to rise, the forces of nature will erode them away and attempt to reduce these magnificent mountains back down to sea-level. And as long as that happens, they will keep changing shape. Long may tectonic forces prevail in this battle. This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.


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