National Geographic Society has installed the “world’s highest weather station” on Mount Everest at an altitude of 8,830 metres to automatically measure various meteorological phenomena. Nepal’s Department of Hydrology and Meteorology (DHM) said the automatic weather station was installed a few metres below the summit point last week as the snow and ice on the summit are not suitable for fixing equipment.
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The weather monitoring system, powered by solar energy, is supposed to measure various meteorological phenomena like air temperature, wind speed and direction, air pressure, change in surface height of snow, and incoming and outgoing short and longwave radiation.
- The NatGeo team, led by climate scientist Baker Perry from the Appalachian State University in the US, consisted of climbers and scientists, many of whom scaled the world’s highest peak while installing the weather station.
- The team spent a month near Everest and also carried out the maintenance of other stations, including a station at South Col, The Himalayan Times reported.
- The DHM and National Geographic signed a memorandum of understanding to operate all five automatic weather stations installed by NatGeo to provide near real-time information regarding mountain conditions.
- Under the MoU, the National Geographic team will fully operate the stations till 2025 before transferring the technology to the Nepal government in 2026, the report said.
- According to Chinese media reports, Beijing has eight stations set up from 5,200 metres to 8,800 metres on Mount Everest, with four stations exceeding 7,000 metres at 7,028 metres, 7,790 metres, 8,300 metres, and 8,800 metres.