China has built an automatic meteorological observation station at an elevation of 6,500 meters on Mount Qomolangma (Mount Everest), the highest mountain in the world.
The station, located at a narrow pass of Dongrongbu Glacier, will be used mainly for observing the condition of energy and materials conversion at high elevation areas of the mountain, said Jing Zhefan, an associate professor in charge of the project.
Jing defined energy conversion as observation of atmospheric temperature, pressure, humidity, solar radiation intensity, heat flux and atmosphere turbulence, and the conversion of materials as the collection of air and aerosol samples and snowfall and snow pit samples.
"By observing the data, we'll learn about the processes of energy and material conversion at Qomolangma and be able to provide an accurate explanation of the pale climate at the core of the snow-ice world," Jing acknowledged.
In 2001, Chinese scientists set up a meteorological observation center on the same spot. The equipment and the data stored in it, however, have disappeared. To ensure normal operation of the station, some members of the team will remain to keep watch until October. Data will be collected each April, Jing said.
The building of the meteorological observation center is part of China's fourth comprehensive scientific survey at Qomolangma, including the re-measurement of its height. This will be the second measurement China has made of the mountain. The first, in 1975, measured the peak at 8,848.13 meters.
(Xinhua News Agency April 28, 2005)