Scholarly article on topic 'Transformation Processes in Alpinist Regions – Mountain Glaciers Changes – Based on Selected Earth's Glaciers'

Transformation Processes in Alpinist Regions – Mountain Glaciers Changes – Based on Selected Earth's Glaciers Academic research paper on "Economics and business"

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Abstract of research paper on Economics and business, author of scientific article — Marek Zoladek

Abstract The new century has brought a new problem about mountain glaciers on the Earth. In some parts of the world scientists have observed the increase of ice melting, often in popular regions for climbing, trekking and other outdoor sports. One of the best places for climbing, Cordillera Blanca and Cordillera Huayhuash in the Andes, were the main target for many expeditions in 2nd part of XX century. At present, in this area more than half of the glaciers are melting faster than ever. The place for intense mountain activity in the past nowadays is threatened with avalanche possibility due to hundreds of crevasses and seracs. The same situation is in the area of Aoraki/Mount Cook in New Zealand. The process of faster melting and global warming, results in making the climbing season in the Southern Alps much shorter. Most of the traditional routes for alpinists are more dangerous and unpredictable than in XX century. This change has significantly reduced the number of sport activity in this area.

Academic research paper on topic "Transformation Processes in Alpinist Regions – Mountain Glaciers Changes – Based on Selected Earth's Glaciers"

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Procedía

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Social and Behavioral Sciences

ELSEVIER Procedía - Social and Behavioral Sciences 120 (2014) 186 - 189

The 3rd International Geography Symposium - GEOMED2013

Transformation processes in alpinist regions - mountain glaciers changes - based on selected earth's glaciers

The new century has brought a new problem about mountain glaciers on the Earth. In some parts of the world scientists have observed the increase of ice melting, often in popular regions for climbing, trekking and other outdoor sports. One of the best places for climbing, Cordillera Blanca and Cordillera Huayhuash in the Andes, were the main target for many expeditions in 2nd part of XX century. At present, in this area more than half of the glaciers are melting faster than ever. The place for intense mountain activity in the past nowadays is threatened with avalanche possibility due to hundreds of crevasses and seracs. The same situation is in the area of Aoraki/Mount Cook in New Zealand. The process of faster melting and global warming, results in making the climbing season in the Southern Alps much shorter. Most of the traditional routes for alpinists are more dangerous and unpredictable than in XX century. This change has significantly reduced the number of sport activity in this area.

©2013TheAuthors.PublishedbyElsevier Ltd.

Selectionandpeer-reviewunderresponsibilityoftheOrganizingCommitteeofGEOMED2013.

Keywords: Global warming; mountain glacier; climbing; Southern Alps; Andes.

1. Introduction

Each geographer who is also a climber can see the new regularity that takes place within the various mountain ranges in the world. Through the process of globalization and the information society functioning of almost every person on Earth can easily reach the most isolated corner of the world. Efficient and modern measuring devices

* Corresponding author. Tel.: +48 608 18 20 46; fax: none. E-mail address: herrmagen@poczta.fm

Marek Zoladek*

Pedagogical University of Cracow, ul. Podchorazych 2, Krakow 30-084, Poland

Abstract

1877-0428 © 2013 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

Selection and peer-review under responsibility of the Organizing Committee of GEOMED2013. doi:10.1016/j.sbspro.2014.02.095

allow you to register and confirm a phenomenon that scientists in the last century could only provide. In particular, all GPS receivers and other measurement techniques using satellites were not available in the past. This allows us to understand how difficult access areas of the Earth, including the mountains and glaciers. Nowadays, thanks to the use of different research techniques became the slogan of global warming. This process increases the average temperature of the Earth's surface, which in turn causes other transformation of the planet. Raise some controversy about the origin of this process. Some scientists believe that the cause is only natural. Other causes of the current climate trends in the industry looking for human activities and environmental transformations they make inhabitants of the Earth. Without going into the first and second theories on the origins ofthe phenomenon, we can now confirm the changes taking place within the glaciers. Of course, we can separate areas of different pace of this phenomenon. The lowest rate of change can be found in the higher parts ofthe Himalaya and Alaska Range. If we would like to identify regions of increased intensity ofthe phenomenon is an example of areas of rapid melting ofthe glaciers are massifs Cordillera Blanca and Cordillera Huayhuash in the Peruvian Andes and area of the peak Aoraki/Mount Cook in New Zealand. These areas were the birthplace of mountaineering ideal for outdoor sports, especially mountain climbing. Over the years, many sports activities teams climbing new routes in these areas or repeated ones. Currently, rarely climbing are successful. The main reason is the rapid disappearance of glaciers, which will change the character of the area, which defeated climbers. Wall frozen peaks turn into an area destroyed by avalanches and landslides. Currently practicing any sports activity in these regions is a game of Russian roulette. The only safe way to explore these areas is to remain in the lowest areas of the individual peaks or waiting for ice conditions improve.

Fig. 1. Yernpaja with glaciers in 2010, (Photo Zoladek)

2. Environment of Peruvian's glaciers.

Peruvian glaciers are included in the "equatorial glaciers" or "tropics glacier", which means glaciers areas located at low latitudes of the earth. The best known are African massifs of Kilimanjaro, Mount Kenya and Ruwenzori.

These mountains are well researched, but unfortunately the vast numerous visitors causing massive environmental devastation, including glaciers. However, Peruvian glaciers only in recent years have become popular among researchers. The largest area of ice is Quelccaya Ice Cap located in the Andean Cordillera Oriental which is very close to the equator at 13 degrees south latitude. The total area of ice is estimated to be around 44 km2. Quelccaya is not so popular among mountaineers as the area of Cordillera Blanca and Cordillera Huayhuash. The Cordillera Blanca with 260 glaciers is ideal for glaciologist and the highest peak - Huasacaran (6768 m. a. s. 1.) is one of the most popular areas for climbers. Peak is locatedjust 9 degrees latitude south of the equator. Another important area of mountain glaciers in Peru is mountain range Cordillera Huayhuash. This range of only 30 km long has the characteristics of peaks located in the Himalayas. The highest point, Yerupaja (6635 m. a. s. 1.), is difficult to climb and surrounded by mountain glaciers cracked.

Fig. 2. Tasman Glacier in 2011 (Photo Zoladek M.).

3. Environment of Southern Alps's glaciers.

Oceania largest glaciers are located in New Zealand, mainly near the Main Divide of the Southern Alps in the South Island. The largest one is called Tasman Glacier with total length 27 km and area 101 km2. It is classed as mid-latitude mountain glaciers (43 degrees latitude south). Tasman Glacier flows along the eastern flank of Mount Tasman and the highest peak of New Zealand - Aoraki/Mount Cook (3754 m. a. s. 1.). Due to the location near the top of Aoraki, the area around the glacier is easily accessible and crowded. Another advantage for visitors to the area is relatively low altitude (above 900 m. a. s. 1.).

4. Transformation of origin alpinst regions.

The undeniable changes in the glaciers also cause change in the nature of the site. Mountain areas in the past to attract climbers change in areas not conducive to this form of activity. The disappearance of glaciers causes the

appearance of the rocks of poor quality. This in turn increases the danger for climbers. The main threats are avalanches and rockfalls. The best example of this peak is Aoraki/Mount Cook which is becoming a big pile of stones. Sometimes to reach the climbing area has been problematic due to large crevasses in glacier. In the Cordillera Huayhuash now it became very problematic approach to the top Yerupaja. The area traversed by crampons in the past, now is a vertical part of grass. For these reasons, these areas are becoming less frequently tours the area for climbers from around the world. With the increasing interest in trekking, this place is becoming increasingly popular area for the sport. This type of sports activity is less physically demanding. This allows more people involved in trekking. Currently, each year more and more people choose this area as a trekking destination. They are a kind of replacement of a large number of climbers who are here in the past, frequent guests.

5. Conclusions.

Today using a modern and accurate measuring devices people can track the changes the size of glaciers. Often the physical changes are accompanied by changes in glacier surface regions where they are. Popular with rock climbers in the past regions become due melting glaciers difficult terrain and dangerous for mountaineers. After experiencing a period of emptiness siege again, this time for trekkers.

Author is currently conducting research on changes Tawa Glacier is located in the Indian part of Himalayas. This region discovered by climbers in the 90s of the twentieth century is slowly undergoing a transformation from climbing to trekking. This change of visitors to this area results in high conversion of local culture. Resorting to foreign models is becoming the norm.

References

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Zech, R.; Zech, M.; Kubik P.W.; Kharki, K.; Zech, W. (2009). Deglaciation and landscape history around Annapuma, Nepal. Based on Be surface exposure dating (pp. 1106-1118), Quaternary science Reviews 28(2009).