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09:24 Oct 09 2012

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Climate change, tourism threatening mountains
08:40, October 09, 2012  

A combination of climate change and booming tourism could cause famous mountain spots in Southwest China's Yunnan province to lose their snow, authorities and experts have warned.

Rising temperatures in recent years have steadily pushed the snow line on Meili Snow Mountain in the Deqen Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture to higher altitudes.

Mingyong glacier, one of 13 glaciers on the snow-capped mountain, retreated about 50 meters between 1994 and 2002, according to the Deqin county meteorological bureau.

By 2006, the glacier had melted to 200 meters, and it is still shrinking, Spring City Evening in Kunming reported on Sept 27, citing official figures.

Due to abnormal weather conditions, Meili Mountain has received less than 50 centimeters of snow annually in recent years, the report said.

"I had always hoped to visit Meili Mountain, which had a splendid snow-covered landscape as I saw on television," said Zhang Ling, a 31-year-old tourist from Shenyang, Liaoning province.

"My dream came true when I paid a visit last week. But I was pretty disappointed since it was hard to see snow on the hillside and only some covered the mountaintop," she said. "The landscape is different from what I had expected."

Glaciers on Yulong Snow Mountain in Lijiang have