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Ecology of World's Highest Plateau Deteriorating

[WTN-L World Tibet Network News. Published by The Canada Tibet Committee. Issue ID: 05/12/24; December 24, 2005.]

http://www.newkerala.com/news.php?action=fullnews&id=72652

Chengdu (China) : The ecological environment of western China's Qinghai-Tibet plateau, the highest in the world, is deteriorating due to natural geological movements, says a study.

Conducted by the China Geological Survey (CGS), the study says that glaciers in the plateau were getting smaller, snow lines were receding and the capacity of the so-called water tower in China were shrinking.

CGS chief Meng Xianlai said constant rise of the plateau, especially the Himalayas, hinders warm humid current from the Indian Ocean, leading to drier weather and shrinking of glaciers on the plateau.

Researches on the evolution of its weather and ecology have found that the plateau experienced dramatic rising movements twice about 100 million and 45 million years ago respectively.

The report said the ongoing rise of the plateau means increasingly dry and colder weather in its heartland.

"Increasing population and excessive exploration in the region would escalate the trend," it says.

The survey also shows that lakes and rivers generated from the region were shrinking.

Widely recognised as the world's third pole, the Qinghai-Tibet plateau covers an area of 1.52 million sq km, almost a sixth of China's territory. About 1,000 geologists from 24 different organisations and institutes had been working on the often snow capped plateau in the past seven years since work on the survey started in 1999.


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