Nepal is reopening Mt. Everest for mountaineers after a massive earthquake hit the country in April.
Nobukazu Kuriki, a Japanese climber, will begin his ascent Tuesday as the first mountaineer since the devastating earthquake-turned-avalanche killed 19 mountaineers. On Sunday, Nepal’s tourism minister, Kripasur Sherpa, handed over Kuriki’s climbing permit in a ceremony.
Kuriki will be attempting to scale Everest during the fall, considered by climbers to be a difficult season compared to spring. “The main purpose of my climb is to spread the message that Nepal was safe for climbers and trekkers even after the earthquake,” Kuriki said, according to the Associated Press.
Kuriki, who has attempted the climb four times before and lost nine fingers to frostbite in his most recent attempt, plans to scale the summit in September.
Scientists are deeply troubled and puzzled by the sudden deaths of 30 large whales that washed up on the coast of Alaska, calling the incident an “unusual mortality event.”
“While we do not yet know the cause of these strandings, our investigations will give us important information on the health of whales and the ecosystems where they live,” Dr. Teri Rowles, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Fisheries’ marine mammal health and stranding response coordinator, said in a statement. “Members of the public can greatly assist the investigation by immediately reporting any sightings of dead whales or distressed live animals they discover.”
The deaths of the whales—which include 11 fin whales, 14 humpback whales, one gray whale, and four unidentified others—are strange: the rate is nearly three times the historical average. NOAA’s declaration of the situation as an “unusual mortality event” will allow the agency to partner with…
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