Scientists have installed the two highest weather stations in the world during an expedition to Mount Everest last week. A team led by the National Geographic Society and Tribhuvan University installed two weather monitoring stations at 27,657 feet and 26,066 feet, as well as three other stations across Everest, reports Engadget.
Scientists will use the data gathered from the stations to improve their understanding of how rising global temperatures are impacting the rapidly melting glaciers.
“This is one of the faster warming continental regions in the world, but we don’t know what’s really going on above 5,000 meters,” said Paul Mayeswki, the expedition’s scientific leader, in an interview with National Geographic.
The team also collected the world highest ice core sample at 26,312 feet, which will help scientists study the deep record of precipitation on the mountain and composition of the atmosphere going back centuries. The project also set the record for the world’s highest helicopter-based lidar scan and completed the most detailed photogrammetric imaging (also with lidar scans) of the Everest Base Camp area and the entire Khumbu Glacier ever completed.
The expedition brings an end to what has been a bad climbing season on Everest, with frequent reports and pictures of overcrowding leading to an increased death toll of 11, the highest since 2015.