"Human polar bear" to swim lake on Mount Everest in April 2010

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London, September 22 (ANI): Lewis Gordon Pugh, a British swimmer nicknamed "the human polar bear", is planning to become the first man to swim in a lake on Mount Everest, to highlight the effects of climate change in the Himalayas.

According to a report by Sky News, Pugh will take a dip in the waters of a lake on the Khumbu Glacier, 17,000ft above sea level, in April 2010.

He will attempt the 1km swim in just his Speedos, swimming cap and goggles and is expecting, or possibly hoping, to only spend 20 minutes in the water.

The mountain range's glaciers provide water to more than 1.3 billion people and are receding faster than in any part of the world.

Temperatures in the Himalayas have risen by around 1 degree Celsius and some are predicting the glaciers could be gone within 25 years.

"These glaciers are not just ice. They are a lifeline - they provide water to a fifth of the world's population," said Pugh.

"It's essential that politicians put aside their differences and agree a bold strategy to reduce climate change to below current levels when they meet in Copenhagen," he added.

Pugh is trying to raise awareness of the impact of climate change ahead of the Copenhagen conference in December, where campaigners hope a replacement for the Kyoto protocol will be agreed.

The "human polar bear" is also attending Bill Clinton's Global Initiative in New York where he will announce his plans for the mission to the US.

It won't be the first time he's braved freezing waters for the good of the planet.

In 2007, Pugh swam across an open patch of sea at the North Pole to bring attention to the melting of the Arctic Sea ice.

His 1km dip took just under 19 minutes in temperatures of -1.8 centigrade, which is the coldest waters a human has ever swum in.

Pugh is also the only person to have completed a long-distance swim in each of the five oceans as well as swimming the entire length of the River Thames in 2006. (ANI)

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