Glacial retreat may halt Chinese dam projects
By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
8/15/2014 (2 years ago)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
The Tibetan plateau has become warmer over the past 50 years than at any stage in the last millennia, a Chinese newspaper reported.
Tibetan glaciers supply hundreds of millions of people with water, and feed into rivers that run through China, India and much of Southeast Asia.
LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - This report, published by the Chinese Academy of Sciences' Institute of Tibetan Plateau Research, says that glaciers on the plateau-which supply water to hundreds of millions of people in Asia-may be threatened as temperatures and humidity continues to rise, causing the glaciers to retreat and desertification to spread.
"Over the past 50 years, the rate of temperature rise has been double the average global level," the report on the website of Science and Technology Daily, a state-run newspaper, said.
Glacier retreat may disrupt the water supply to several of Asia's main rivers that originate from the plateau, including the Yellow and Yangtze rivers in China, the Brahmaputra in India, and the Mekong and Salween which run through much of Southeast Asia.
Chinese scientists said that the Tibetan glaciers had shrunk 15%-about 3,100 square miles-over the past 30 years.
The report said that due to this, the plateau is likely to see an increase in floods and landslides, but these same rising temperature have also improved the local ecosystem.
It is unclear how this will affect several hydro-power projects that both China and India plan to build, included several mega-dams and hydro-plants.
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