Carina Ahlqvist, Mountaineer and Climate Research Explorer


Scaling Mount Makalu, 8481 meters, with ESA Climate Change Initiative (CCI)


The expedition, Mount Makalu Climate Climb, provided a unique opportunity to combine adventure and research. Carina Ahlqvist, Mountaineer and Climate Research Explorer, designed the expedition and invited ESA to collaborate on climate change. Mount Makalu in Nepal is the fifth highest mountain in the world, just 20 km southeast of Mt. Everest.

As climate change is international, she invited spring 2018 an international team of 12 from five countries including two researchers from ESA. Together with the local support crew in Nepal, the total team comprised 50 individuals, trekking along the Barun Valley to reach the Makalu base camp at 4870 meters. Here, the expedition conducted on-the-ground scientific research in support of ESA’s CCI.

The main expedition objectives were to
• Survey the historical extent of the Barun glacier
• Attempt to summit Mount Makalu by expedition leader, Carina Ahlqvist
• Raise awareness of climate change

As the team trekked back down, Carina prepared to summit Mount Makalu. At the talk, she will give an overview of her observations of climate change in the Himalaya. She will share her experiences from 8000 meters and how the descent from there became the main challenge, as she got totally snow blind and spent three days on the mountain. She will also share great strenghts and learnings from her experiences, that became one of the most on the edge expeditions in her lifetime, motivating her to face new challenges in the future to amplify the voice of the planet.

Carina Ahlqvist Bio

Carina Ahlqvist is one of the most experienced female Swedish 8,000 meters montain climbers. She scaled her first mountain, Mount Kenya Point Lenana, 5985 meters, 20 years old. Today, she has been on five expeditions to the extreme 8000 meters of mountains in the Himalayas. Carina collects samples to contribute to research in climate change in collaboration with NASA, ESA and universities in the US and Europe.

What began as an exciting idea in 1987 has become the focus and passion of her life. Carina has over 20 years of experience in leadership in the business world, something she benefits greatly from at high altitude. Carina is a member in The Explorers Club in New York and a certified Climate Reality Leader for Al Gore’s Climate Reality Project.

ESA Climate Change Initiative

The CCI programme contributes to the database of Essential Climate Variables required by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). It aims to exploit the full potential of the global Earth Observation archives that ESA has established over the last 40 years together with its Member States.


Monday June 10, 11:15


Rossbysalen C609, Arrhenius laboratory, Svante Arrhenius väg 16C, 6th floor