Glaciers around the tallest mountain in the world may reach a historic new low relatively soon.
Combining projections of future climate with simulations of how glaciers melt and grow, researchers estimate online May 27 in TheCryosphere that the Everest region of the Himalayas could lose 73 to 96 percent of its ice by 2100. Seasonal glacial melt is a vital water source for people in the region, but the disappearing ice can also pose a serious natural hazard. Meltwater can stockpile behind debris dams before bursting downhill in giant, deadly floods. Such flood events have become more frequent since the 1940s, the researchers note.