Saturday, October 09, 2010

Snow caps disappearing

Snow caps disappearing
'Global warming ruined mountains'
Cebu Daily News
October 9, 2010

The reality of global warming could be seen clearly along the trails of the peak of Mt. Everest, according to two-time Everest climber Khoo Swee Chiow.

"The effects of global warming are much bigger than what you see in the newspaper. There are many things that are not reported," Khoo Swee Chiow told close to 200 participants in the Go Green conference at the Shangri-la's Mactan Island Resort and Spa in Lapu-Lapu City.

He showed photos of his mountain expeditions at the North and South Poles, Mt. Everest and Mt. Kilimanjaro among others; and his cycling and swimming adventures which include his 88-day first traverse if the Philippine archipelago on a kayak last year.

In these photos, Chiow  has documented how garbage in all forms is left on the base camps and areas around Mt. Everest, which he first climbed in 1998. He climbed the 8.8-meter peak for the second time in 2006.

The motivational speaker, who quit his career in information technology to pursue his dream of climbing mountains and swimming seas 10 years ago, said man's abuse of the environment could be seen in these areas, where reaching the peak overshadows the impact of the climb to the surrounding environment.

"There is litter all the way from the base camp to the top. Everything in Everest is frozen. Nothing is decomposed. There are 200 dead bodies buried under the snow because they are impossible to remove. This is the truth in Everest," he said.

Chiow was one of the speakers of the two-day environmental conference which aims to gather individuals and organizations from the academe, corporate and government sectors to open discussion on environmental conservation and preservation.

Showing before-and-after photo of the Mt. Kilimanjaro peak, Chiow said snow caps are slowly disappearing, a proof that the earth is getting warmer. He first climbed Africa's highest peak in 1994. He reached the peak for the second time two weeks ago.

"This is an important peak because here, scientists measure fast the glaciers that are disappearing. As per my recent visit two weeks ago, the glacier has shrunk so much," he said.

Chiow considered this alarming since the melting of the glaciers would fill up glacial lakes that would overflow, burst and flood neighbouring communities. He said this incident has already happened at the Himalayas region.