America's Tallest Mountain Could be Covered in Poop Soon, and Climate Change is to Blame
America's tallest mountain, Denali, could soon be a very shitty sight. Literally.
Image Credits: NPS / KT Twitter(@DenaliNPS)
'Take your trash with you' is what a lot of PSA signs in nature trails and camping spots usually read. They are meant to tell hikers to take their litter with them or dispose of it properly to ensure that the trash doesn't accumulate wherever it is.
However, since backpackers are usually alone in the wilderness and do not think anyone's watching, they leave their trash wherever they can - their trash including their own excreta. This is also the case at Denali National Park in Alaska, located on America's tallest mountain of Denali.
In fact, the situation in Denali is so bad that it has accumulated a whopping 66 tonnes of human waste, all frozen oon its surface. And now, it seems the frozen mound of human waste is going to be exposed. The reason? Climate change.
Irrespective of Donald Trump denying it, climate change is very real and its consequences extremely visible. And it is soon going to show up in Denali, in the form of exposed poop - 66 tonnes of it.
Denali has always had a poop problem, and has had a programme to tackle it since 2001, but the issue isn't limited to Denali. Other high-rise mountains, including Everest, have accumulated traces of the climbers who try to reach the top every year, and leave remains of their misdeeds behind - after all, you can't exactly have a portable toilet on the top of a snow-covered mountain.
But melting snow exposing the poop below is not only an aesthetic concern as much as the troubling environmental impact of the exposure.
According to a report in USA Today, the buried poop is not going to be very different from when it was buried, which means all the bacteria in it will probably still be alive.
Michael Loso, a National Park Service glaciologist, revealed how "The waste will emerge at the surface not very different from when it was buried. It will be smushed and have been frozen and be really wet. It will be biologically active, so the E. coli that was in the waste when it was buried will be alive and well. We expect it to still smell bad and look bad,” Loso said.
A temporary solution to the problem has been thought of. For the first time, the guide companies that lead many of the climbers who traverse the park each year have voluntarily decided to start packing out their human waste. This comes just a year after the National Park Service instituted a policy that all such waste below 14,000 feet must be carried off the mountain.
But this is a temporary solution. What's a more permanent solution? Donald Trump may not be inclined to agree, but combating climate change may be the way out.
A recent study has shown, that the ice on Denali mountain is melting at an alarming rate, owing to the climate change.
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