By Tetsuhiko Endo
The villagers of a small mountain town in Peru, called Licapa, are hoping that they can save their home and reverse the loss of Andean glaciers, reports the BBC. The plan is to simply whitewash large sections of rocky peaks that used to contain important, water-giving glaciers that sustained the water needs of mountain towns all over the Andes before global warming made them disappear. In theory, the white will reflect solar energy instead of absorbing it thereby cooling the area in question and creating a cold microclimate that will be conducive to glacier growth. The plan is the brain child of the 55-year-old Peruvian inventor, Eduardo Gold, and despite having detractors, has received a $200,000 grant from the World Bank.
One guy who had a lot more trouble getting funding for his idea was Reid Stowe, the man who sailed into New York on two weeks ago after shattering the record for the longest sea voyage in history reports the New York Times. This might be because his trip of 1,152 days tracing a giant heart in the Atlantic Ocean had very little motive, except as an excuse for Stowe to get away from things, meditate, and prove that it could be done. Which is enough of an excuse for us. Stowe actually set out on the the trip with a first mate, one Soanya Ahmad. However, she ended up getting pregnant with Stowe's baby ten months in and had to leave the voyage to give birth. So when Stowe reached land this week, not only had he not seen people in a few years, he also had a 23-month-old son whom he had never met. As one adventure ends, so another begins….
There is more news of records and children coming from the Himalaya this week, and its not necessarily good news. "I believe all Everest records should remain among the Nepalese people–including the youngest summiteer," said speed climber Pemba Dorje Sherpa on Explorersweb. He was referring to 13-year-old Jordan Romero's May ascent of Everest which brought that particular record to the United States. So how is the full-grown Sherpa planning to beat a 13-year-old? By guiding his 10-year-old son up the world's highest mountain. Despite Nepali age restrictions on climbing the mountain, Pemba Dorje Sherpa is confident that they will make an exception when national pride is involved.
The eco-pirates of Sea Shepherd were at it again this week. This time they showed up in the Mediterranean, just north of Libya, to free bluefin tuna that they believed had been caught illegally, reports the Guardian. Bluefin tuna are among the most valuable and most endangered fish in the Med. Fishermen are only allowed to catch certain numbers of them two weeks a year, and even so, they are expected to die out in a few years. Although details remain hazy because only the notoriously bombastic leader of Sea Shepherd, Paul Watson, has been interviewed regarding the incident, it appears that Watson and his crew cut the nets of a holding pen because they believed Italian and Libyan fisherman had caught the fish illegally. Whatever the case, there are now a few more free bluefin, and a few more broke fishermen in Italy and North Africa.
In order to not leave you, dear reader, on a down note, we would like to provide a videos for your viewing pleasure. While not exactly new this week, it is a wonderful examples of sea going derring-do by the large-lunged Frenchman, Guillaume Nery. You have to see it to believe it: Watch the video.
- Nat Geo Expeditions