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News

China’s glaciers melting at a faster rate

26 October 2011
Glaciers in the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau, the major source of the China’s largest rivers, are melting at a faster rate because of global warming, according to researchers quoted by Xinhua.

Since 2005 experts have been conducting research on the waters, geology, glaciers and wetlands in the headwaters of the Yangtze, Yellow and Lancang rivers in Qinghai province. Results from the study show that a large area of the glaciers has melted in the 2,400 sq km region.

Cheng Haining, senior engineer with the provincial surveying and mapping bureau, said about 5.3 per cent, or 70 sq km, of the glaciers in Yangtze headwaters had melted away over the past 30 years.

He said that the melting of glaciers is closely connected with climate change and that data collected over the past 50 years show a continued rise in the average temperature of the three-river headwaters area.

Xin Yuanhong, a senior engineer with the Qinghai Hydrography and Geology Study Centre, said the melting of the glaciers could lead to a water shortage and even a drying-up of rivers in the long term, and consequent ecological disasters such as wetland retreat and desertification.

     
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