A Window Into The Planet – 29,000 Feet In The Making | Episode 5

With Paul Mayewski Expedition Lead and Chief Scientist/Director Climate Change Institute University of Maine,

A skilled team survived some of the most extreme conditions on earth to successfully install the highest weather stations in the world.  The National Geographic and Rolex Perpetual Planet Expedition is believed to be one of the most comprehensive studies conducted on top of Mount Everest. Paul Andrew Mayewski, a Climate Scientist from the University of Maine, and the expedition’s scientific leader says,“It’s the highest place on earth and perfect to investigate the potential impacts of climate change.” According to researchers, Mount Everest is one of the few peaks tall enough to actually protrude into the South Asia jet stream, making it a perfect location to dip into snow, ice and air samples for measurements.

While the research itself is just beginning – what did it take to get there? Carrying up all the gear, oxygen tanks, tents and supplies is no easy task – the ascent is a high-risk venture. How did they make the climb, what does the team hope to learn from it and what was the biggest risk that forced them to pull back? It’s not a reason you might expect.

I’ve got all those answers and more on this edition of the Big Blue Marble.

Photo by Mark Fisher, National Geographic. 8,430 meters above sea level, the high-altitude expedition team celebrates after setting up the world’s highest operating automated weather station during National Geographic and Rolex’s 2019 Perpetual Planet Extreme Expedition to Mt. Everest.  Learn more at www.natgeo.com/everest


Photo by Eric Daft, National Geographic.
A night wind spins the anemometer of a newly installed automated weather station in Phortse (3,810 meters above sea level). The weather station, installed during National Geographic and Rolex’s 2019 Perpetual Planet Extreme Expedition to Mt. Everest, provides real time weather readings from the world’s highest mountain. Explore the data at www.natgeo.com/everest. .
Photo by Dirk Collins, National Geographic. The high-altitude expedition team drills the world’s highest ice core sample at 8,020 meters above sea level during National Geographic and Rolex’s Perpetual Planet Extreme Expedition to Mt. Everest in spring 2019. Learn more at www.natgeo.com/everest

Full Interview Transcript