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SATURDAY, September 23, 2023

China installs weather stations at world-record-high altitude

China installs weather stations at world-record-high altitude
WEDNESDAY, May 04, 2022

Chinese scientists are establishing a meteorological monitoring station at an altitude of 8,800 meters on Mount Qomolangma, on the China-Nepal border.

The 13 members of the scientific research team started the trek towards an 8,300-meter base camp on Mount Qomolangma from a 7,028-meter camp on Tuesday morning and reached the camp in the afternoon. They went on the last section of the arduous journey up on Wednesday morning.

At about 11:00 on Wednesday, the team reached the location for setting up the weather station.

If the station is established successfully, it will replace the one at an altitude of 8,430 meters set up by the British and U.S. scientists on the south side of the mountain in 2019, to be the world's highest of its kind, according to the Institute of Tibetan Plateau Research (ITP), Chinese Academy of Sciences.

Including the highest, eight elevation gradient meteorological stations will be set up on Mount Qomolangma, one of the main tasks in China's new comprehensive scientific expedition on the world's highest peak at the height of 8,848.86 meters.

Three meteorological stations were established at 7,028 meters, 7,790 meters and 8,300 meters, respectively, earlier this year on the north side of the mountain, bringing the total number of operational weather stations between the altitudes between 5,200 meters and 8,300 meters to seven. 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 on Mount Qomolangma is part of China's second scientific research survey on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, which started in 2017.

The eight stations will collect the wind speed and wind direction data, as well as relative humidity on the north side of Qomolangma, and the elevation gradient meteorological station system is of great significance for monitoring the melting glaciers and mountain snow at the high altitudes.

The expedition team will also set up glacier radar and measure the thickness of snow and ice at the summit of the mountain.