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Karakoram

From Academic Kids

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Located in the mountainous region of Gilgit-Baltistan or the Northern Areas of Pakistan, the Karakoram is one of the great Himalayan mountain ranges, with many of the highest and most daunting peaks of the world. It is located on the border of Pakistan and India with China, about 500 km (300 mi) in length, and is the most heavily glaciated part of the world outside of the polar regions. The word Karakoram is Turkish for 'crumbling rock'.

Due to its altitude and ruggedness, the Karakoram is much less inhabited than parts of the Himalayas further east. European explorers first visited early in the 19th century, followed by British surveyors starting in 1856.

The Muztagh Pass was crossed in 1887 by the expedition of Colonel Francis Younghusband and the valleys above the Hunza River were explored by George Cockerill in 1892. Explorations in the 1910s and 1920s established most of the geography of the region.

The Karakoram and the Himalaya are important to Earth scientists for several reasons. They are one of the world's most geologically active areas, at the boundary between two colliding continents. Therefore, they are important in the study of plate tectonics. Mountain glaciers may serve as an indicator of climate change, advancing and receding with long-term changes in temperature and precipitation. These extensive ranges may have even caused climate change when they were formed over 40 million years ago. The large amounts of rock exposed to the atmosphere are weathered (broken down) by carbon dioxide. This process removes the greenhouse gas from the atmosphere, and could have caused the global climate to cool, triggering an ongoing series of ice ages.

Highest peaks

The Karakoram's highest peaks include, among others:

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Illustrated peaks as seen from International Space Station
 (Qogir Feng)
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K2 (Qogir Feng)

See also: Karakorum highway, Geography of China, List of mountains in Pakistan

External links

es:Karakrum fr:Karakoram it:Karakorum ja:カラコルム山脈 nl:Karakoram no:Karakoram pl:Karakorum zh:喀喇昆仑山脉

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