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10:34 Feb 10 2010

Photo album of TibetSpecial ReportMedia Voice
English>>Tibet Online
Melting glaciers in Himalayas worrisome
10:30, February 10, 2010  

Photo shows the poster of Roland Emmerich-directed film "2012". (Guangzhou Daily Photo)

China tackling global warming impact on Qinghai-Tibet Plateau
Atop Mt. Drolma, 5,100 m above sea level in southwestern Tibet's Xigaze Prefecture, is the Rongbo Lamasery which is some 20 km from the peak of Mt. Qomolangma.

Ngawang Nyaindrup, a 39-year-old lama of this world's highest monastery, sits in meditation, facing a range of snowy mountains.

This scene so much resembles that in Roland Emmerich-directed film "2012" -- two lamas, old and young, chatting while sipping butter tea in a monastery on top of Mt. Qomolangma.

But in real life, ever more rapid ticking of the melting glaciers has worried Ngawang.

On the northern slope of Mt. Qomolangma, Ngawang used to see only mountaineers and scientific researchers in the past. But today, an increasing number of visitors, including tourists of different skin colors, mountain climbers and environmentists, have come and disturbed the peace.

What Ngawang disfavors in particular is not simply the boisterousness of the visitors, but their arriving here not on foot by driving vehicles of different sizes and powers. He considers the speeded-up melting of the glaciers on Mt. Qomolangma is caused mainly by the oil fuel of those vehicles.

His concerns not only lie in the rising snow line and retreating glaciers nearby, but in the severely-polluted Rongbo River as well.

Formed by melt-water from three major glaciers on northern Qomolangma, the Rongbo River used to be crystal-clear, with the flow changing regularly in seasons. Now, the contaminated river tends to be odd-tempered and its flow irregular. Besides, the weather is ever changing and unpredictabel, often resulting in sudden heavy rains or hails within one day.

What is worse, the river has become a typical example for scientists to prove that glaciers in the world are receding.

Four decades ago, about 100 million cubic meters of water from the end of the Rongbo Glaciers flew into the Rongbo River annually. Yet, today, the river looks turbulent and its surface has risen to reach over the knees.
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