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10:34 Feb 10 2010

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Melting glaciers in Himalayas worrisome (3)
10:32, February 10, 2010  


Photo shows the partially forzen Rongbo River. (Xinhua Photo)


Every year, glaciers, frozen soils and lakes in the Himalayan-Tibetan zone supply 8.6 million cubic meters of fresh water to the Asian people.

"I went to Mt. Geladandong (northern Tibet's Nagqu Prefecture) for the first time in 1997. At that time, its snow line still kept halfway up the mountain, but this year only a little snow is indistinctly visible on its peak," Lhashi, a tour guide sighed.

Known as the summit of Mt. Tangula, Geladandong is the headwater of the Yangtze River. Since 1971, this area has experienced an increasingly higher temperature, with an average annual growth of 0.8 degree Centigrade.

Scientists predict glaciers in the area are likely to reduce by 6.9 percent as a result of climatic warming.

The Himalayas have the world's third largest glacier reserve of one trillion cubic meters in an area of 11,000 sq km.

But Sherpa, a Nepali who has scaled Mt. Qomolangma for 19 times, said early this year he noticed snow melted on Mt. Qomolangma at an altitude of more than 8,000 m.

He also said it is more difficult now to climb the world's summit from its southern slope mainly because the melt snow has made it harder to trudge up the former snow-covered road.

Source: Xinhua
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