Chinese scientists establish meteorological observation stations on Mt. Cho Oyu

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, October 3, 2023
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A Chinese expedition team reached the peak of Mount Cho Oyu, also known as Mt. Qowowuyag, on Sunday and set up an automatic weather station atop this mountain for the first time. The establishment of the weather station is aimed at revealing more about the characteristics of climate change in this extremely high-altitude region.

Located on the China-Nepal border, Mt. Cho Oyu is the sixth-highest mountain in the world with an altitude of 8,201 meters. This is the first time Chinese scientists have scaled a peak exceeding 8,000 meters in altitude apart from Mt. Qomolangma, the world's highest summit.

The summit of Mt. Cho Oyu is particularly wide and broad similar to a football field, which is very rare among the highest peaks in the world and is a feature which makes it easy to set up and repair a weather station.

Five automatic weather stations have been set up at altitudes of 4,950, 5,700, 6,450, 7,100 and 8,201 meters, respectively, on Mt. Cho Oyu, while precipitation observation equipment was installed at the two lower stations.

Together with the Qomolangma-Shishapangma weather stations already established, this expanded meteorological observation network will help reveal more characteristics of climate change in this extremely high-altitude region, said Zhao Huabiao, a researcher with the Institute of Tibetan Plateau Research under the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

Zhao's team started installing these weather stations on Sept. 20. Each weather station weighs about 50 kg, and they were disassembled and parts assigned to the various team members. Each member carried parts weighing no more than 7 kg when climbing.

Soon after the expedition team set up the summit weather station, meteorological data was successfully transmitted, revealing a summit temperature of minus 18 degrees Celsius and a wind force of 6 degrees, or 10.8-13.8 meters per second at around 11 a.m. Sunday.

The weather stations are powered by solar panels and can run for two years under normal circumstances. Their daily work is to transmit meteorological information such as temperature, humidity, wind direction and speed, and solar radiation through satellite communication and other means.

The data will help fill blanks in terms of meteorological records for extremely high-altitude regions, and is of great significance for monitoring changes in glaciers and snow cover at high altitudes, said Zhao. 

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