WATCH: Portion of a Massive Glacier Crumbles on Mount Everest

by Shelby Scott
(Photo by LAKPA SHERPA/AFP via Getty Images)

Global warming has begun to have increasingly broad-scale effects on our planet. Already, climate change has resulted in intensified hurricanes (like Hurricane Ian making its way toward Florida), increasingly dangerous and superactive wildfires, as well as historic drought conditions. Most recently, though, climate change found its way to Mount Everest, the tallest mountain peak in the world. Increased temperatures sent a massive piece of glacial serac crumbling down the mountainside. Footage of the event is both magnificent and terrifying.

According to Unofficial Networks, the serac collapse took place just above Manaslu Base Camp. Captured by mountaineer Tendi Sherpa, the glacier begins slipping away in small fractions. Streams of snow and ice race down Mount Everest’s cliff face. Suddenly, the trails of snow give way to an avalanche-like scene. Clouds of glacial debris plummet down the mountain in a way not unlike waterfalls.

As the initial collapse settles, clouds of snow hang in the air, speaking to the intensity of Mountain Everest’s loss.

Upon watching the video, viewers on Twitter had mixed reactions. Some spoke about the thrill of watching the collapse; others warned Mount Everest is just the latest world-renowned landmark to suffer the effects of global warming.

“It’s a climatic mayhem everywhere,” one concerned Twitter user commented. “Nature is warning us…Global warming can wipe out a chunk of humanity in no time.”

Another added, “Serious stuff at Manaslu, not to be taken lightly.”

Others, though, were both intimidated and intrigued by the glacier’s collapse on Mount Everest.

“Great record,” a third viewer said. “Honorable mention for taking the video in landscape format.” Certainly, there’s something to be said for amateur photographers knowing to capture significant global events in landscape perspective.

One other viewer simply commented, “My heart is actually racing.”

Mount Everest’s Highest Glacier is Melting at a Dangerously Fast Rate

Mount Everest, in itself, is definitely feeling the effects of global warming. However, even more significantly affected is its highest glacier, the South Col Glacier.

Since 1997, the South Col Glacier has lost more than 180 feet of thickness. For perspective, scientists have found that Mount Everest’s highest glacier is melting at 80 times the rate of what it took for the South Cole Glacier to form in the first place.

Dr. Mariusz Potocki, the lead researcher on a study examining the rapid disappearance of the South Col Glacier, previously shared high concerns about the glacier’s disappearance. With the black ice beneath the mountain’s bright white glacial features increasingly exposed, Potocki believes this giant is “on the way out.”

He continued, “the steady uptick in temperatures eventually pushes the glacier across a threshold, and suddenly everything changes.”

Potocki now considers Mount Everest’s South Col Glacier a relic from a much colder time in history.