Tibet glacier melt threatens China

Report warns of droughts, desertification and damage to vital river systems.

    The report says glaciers in the Tibet region act as a barometer for the rest of China [GALLO/GETTY]
    The result, scientists say, could be severe shortages of water supplies needed for irrigation and millions of people living in some of China’s biggest cities.
     
     
    Once known as "China's sorrow" for its catastrophic flooding, at several points it now dries up altogether at certain times of year.
     
    Commenting on the findings, Xu told the China Daily that "decades of research" had found that the plateau acted as a barometer for weather conditions in other parts of China and the world.
     
    He said satellite data showed the "strong movement of clouds" above the plateau in July 1998 was linked to China's worst floods in decades in the summer of that year.
     
    Higher than average temperatures on the plateau in the winter of 2005-2006 also partly contributed to last year's heat waves across the country, Xu said.
     
    Since the 1980s, he said, average temperatures in the Tibet plateau had risen by at least 1C and were continuing to rise.
     
    A recent study by the United Nations Development Programme has warned that the rate of glacier melt in the Himalayas could see them disappear altogether by 2100.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Interactive: Take a tour through divided Jerusalem

    Interactive: Take a tour through divided Jerusalem

    Take a tour through East and West Jerusalem to see the difference in quality of life for Israelis and Palestinians.

    Stories from the sex trade

    Stories from the sex trade

    Dutch sex workers, pimps and johns share their stories.

    Inside the world of India's booming fertility industry

    Inside the world of India's booming fertility industry

    As the stigma associated with being childless persists, some elderly women in India risk it all to become mothers.