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Global Warming Melting "Roof of the World" Glacier

by: Zhu Jin    2 May 2006

NANNING, April 30 (Xinhua) -- Pouring over four decades of research based on data from China's 681 weather stations, the country's scientists
have found that global warming is seriously affecting the "roof of the world", as west China's Qinghai-Tibet plateau is known.

Professor Dong Guangrong with the Chinese Academy of Sciences is calling for world attention to the environmental deterioration of the Qinghai-Tibet plateau caused by global warming.

He has discovered that the "roof of the world" glacier, accounting for 47 percent of China's total glacier coverage, is shrinking at a rate of seven percent annually.

Dong concludes that the melting glacier will ultimately trigger more droughts, expand desertification and increase sandstorms.

Han Yongxiang of the National Meteorological Bureau Global agrees that global warming has led to expanding deserts on the Qinghai-Tibet plateau. He says statistics from the Tibet weather bureau show that average temperatures
in Tibet has risen 0.9 centigrade since the 1980's accelerating the melting of the glacier and tundra of the Qinghai-Tibet plateau.

Statistics provided by the Tibet regional government show that Tibet has lost 3.4 billion yuan (about 425 million U.S. dollars) to 9.5 billion yuan (about 1.19 billion U.S. dollars) annually due to desertization.