Mount Everest was visible from Kathmandu last week, something which is believed to never have happened before.
Viewing the world’s highest peak from Kathmandu, which is over 120 miles away, would not have been possible just two months ago. However, the global lockdown, which was initiated in an attempt to prevent further spread of the coronavirus, has led to fewer vehicles being on the roads, and industry grounding to a halt. This has consequently resulted in significantly less air pollution and increased clean air above Nepal. So much so in fact that it’s now possible to see the tip of Mount Everest from there.
Out of all the pollutants, vehicular emissions are by far the biggest source of air pollution in Kathmandu Valley, and one study calculated it accounts for as much as 70% of all particulate matter at street level. While this has been massively reduced in recent times, the main concern is that once lockdown measures are removed, people will simply go back to their normal way of life and may even avoid public transport more than pre-pandemic to avoid social contact. Meaning more people using their own personal vehicles and this once-in-a-lifetime sight will once again be shrouded in smog.
Earth’s highest mountain above sea level is Mount Everest. Located in the Mahalangur Himal sub-range of the Himalayas, the China–Nepal border runs across its summit point. The current official elevation of 8,848 m (29,029 ft), which is recognized by both China and Nepal, was established by a 1955 Indian survey and subsequently confirmed by a Chinese survey in 1975. Despite its massive height the smog usually prevents the summit from being visible from Nepal, until now!