Team including UMaine researchers install Mount Everest weather station, media report

National Geographic, The Weather Channel, Fox News, Hindustan Times and Science Alert reported on the installation of the world’s highest weather station in Mount Everest’s “death zone.” An international team of scientists, including six from the University of Maine, and mountain climbers joined National Geographic to install the two highest weather stations in the world, at 27,657 feet and 26,066 feet, respectively, collecting the highest-ever ice core and expanding elevation records for high-dwelling species, Fox News reported. The stations will provide real-time data from the death zone as well as the first, direct observations of the jet stream, allowing researchers to better understand how climate change is impacting the Himalayan mountains, according to the report. The two weather stations will gather data on temperature, wind speed and more, which anyone will be able to view in real time, according to National Geographic. The high-altitude view of the weather could help make forecasting more accurate in the region and perhaps even worldwide. “This is a new window into the planet,” Paul Mayewski, director of UMaine’s Climate Change Institute and the expedition’s scientific leader, told National Geographic. The expedition team had members from eight countries who conducted research in a range of areas, including biology, glaciology and meteorology. Other UMaine researchers on the expedition led by the National Geographic Society and Tribhuvan University, and supported in partnership with Rolex, were doctoral candidate Mariusz Potocki, Earth and climate sciences assistant professor Aaron Putnam, Ph.D. candidate Peter Strand, master’s student Laura Mattas and doctoral student Heather Clifford.