Climate scientist, explorer to discuss Everest expedition March 6

Feb 24, 2020
Paul Mayewski of UMaine's Climate Change Institute will discuss his Mt. Everest Expedition March 6.

Belfast — World-renowned climate scientist and explorer Paul Mayewski and glaciochemist Mariusz Potocki will give a free, public talk titled “The National Geographic and Rolex Perpetual Planet Extreme Mt. Everest Expedition,” Friday, March 6, 5:30-6:30 p.m., in the auditorium at the Hutchinson Center in Belfast.

The goal of the two-month multinational, multidisciplinary National Geographic and Rolex Perpetual Planet Extreme Mt. Everest Expedition was to document people’s impacts on one of the planet’s most severe environments.

Mayewski, director of the University of Maine Climate Change Institute, was the expedition leader and lead scientist for the international project that involved 55 science partners, National Geographic staff, journalists, Sherpas and porters.

From Base Camp at an altitude of 17,514 feet, he directed the biological, geological, glaciological, meteorological, mapping and multimedia enterprise that took place all over the mountain, both at lower elevations and nearly to the 29,029-foot summit.

Water flowing from Himalayan glaciers is a resource for energy, food and consumption for about 20% of the world’s population. One billion people living in the watershed will be stressed by the shrinking of the glaciers, Mayewski says, initially from flooding and landslides, and later from drought.

This marked Mayewski’s fourth scientific expedition on Everest, which Tibetans call Chomolungma and Nepalis call Sagarmatha for “mother of the sky.” Mayewski has led nearly 60 research expeditions around the globe, many in Antarctica, where he was the first person to explore large tracts of the continent. “Mayewski Peak,” a summit in Antarctica’s Saint Johns Range, is named in his honor.

A video, a summit suit, a drill used to secure the highest ice core in the world, and other items from the expedition will be displayed.

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