English-World Exclusive: Little Wonder Some Glaciers Are Melting…

(mysteriously, this piece of very interesting news has so far only appeared in Italian)

(ANSA) – AOSTA, April 9 – City-like pollution levels on the Everest and the entire Himalayan range. That’s the conclusion of project Share – Stations at High Altitude for Research on the Environment – sponsored by the EvK2Cnr Committee and highlighted in studies published by researchers at ISAC-CNR in Bologna, Italy and Lgge-CNRS in  Grenoble, France.

All observations were taken at the Nepal Climate Observatory, a.k.a. the Italian National Research Council (CND) “Pyramid”, at an altitude of 5,079 meters on the south side of the Everest. The samples were collected in the  pre-monsoon season, when pollutants from the Asian Brown Cloud are more easily transported to the high peaks of the Himalayas. According to Angela Marinoni, ISAC researcher, pollutant levels observed in early April are already beyond the already high levels reached in previous years”.

“Black carbon is close to 6 micrograms per cubic meter”, continued Marinoni, “and PM1 (the amount of fine dust)  largely exceeded 100 micrograms per cubic meter, a value never recorded at the observatory”.

These concentrations are so high, they exceed the EU-sanctioned alarm thresholds for air quality in cities. Moreover, according to Paolo Cristofanelli, head of Share’s atmospheric activities, ”these worrying particulate concentrations are accompanied by high levels of ozone, a highly-oxidizing greenhouse gas that is formed in atmosphere in the presence of primary pollutants and solar radiation” .

Original 09/04/2010 13:45 ANSA