Global warming threatens Tibetan rail link

June 23, 2005

An official from China's National Climate Center warned warmer winter and summers in a fragile environmental region will ruin a rail link to Tibet by 2050.

Luo Yong, deputy director of the center said Tuesday temperatures may climb as much as 6 degrees Fahrenheit in the Sanjiangyuan region of the Qinghai-Tibet plateau.

According to Thursday's China Daily, the unique sensitivity to temperature changes in the Sanjiangyuan region is seen by many climatologists as a tripwire for global climate change that includes warming trends for China and East Asia.

Such warming, Luo said, could cause permafrost to melt and threaten the railway within 45 years. The rail link to Tibet is expected to start trial operations in 2006. Since the early 1960s, when the Qinghai-Tibet Highway was formed, permafrost on both sides of the roadbed has retreated as much as 5.6 miles and the area of frozen soil decreased about 13 percent.

Copyright 2005 by United Press International

Explore further: Epic snows have meant economic woes across all industries

Related Stories

Progressively wetter in Norway

February 27, 2013

Climate change will make life wetter for most Norwegians in the years to come. A rainier climate is expected nationwide, with the possible exception of southern Norway in the summers.

Emergency planning: Green thinking with a sense of urgency

September 20, 2012

Six of Harvard's deepest thinkers on the environment warned about a worsening climate crisis, even as they shared promising new technology, new ideas about city design, and examples of how markets can be used to meet the ...

Glimmers of green hope for Asian cities

June 21, 2011

The air in most Asian cities is getting more polluted and the rivers filthier, but experts say there are many reasons to believe in a green vision for the region as urbanisation powers ahead.

Recommended for you

Interstellar seeds could create oases of life

August 27, 2015

We only have one example of a planet with life: Earth. But within the next generation, it should become possible to detect signs of life on planets orbiting distant stars. If we find alien life, new questions will arise. ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.