China's glaciers in meltdown mode: study

Oct 25, 2011
Tibetan women stand at the foot of a glacier in 2007. Sharp increases in temperature driven by global warming are melting China's Himalayan glaciers, an impact that threatens habitats, tourism and economic development, says a study released Tuesday.

Sharp increases in temperature driven by global warming are melting China's Himalayan glaciers, an impact that threatens habitats, tourism and economic development, says a study released Tuesday.

Of 111 weather stations scattered across southwestern China, 77 percent showed significant upticks in temperatures between 1961 and 2008, according to the study, published in a British peer-reviewed journal, Environmental Research Letters.

At the 14 monitoring stations above 4,000 metres (13,123 feet), the jump over this period was 1.73 degrees Celsius (3.11 ), roughly twice the average global increase over the last century.

Researchers led by Li Zhongxing of the identified three changes occurring in glaciers that could be caused, at least in part, by this steady .

Many of the glaciers examined showed a "drastic retreat" as well as large loss of mass, they reported.

The Pengqu basin's 999 glaciers, for example, had a combined area loss of 131 square kilometres (51 square miles) over two decades, from 1980 to 2001.

The study also showed that glacial lakes -- fed by runoff from masses -- had expanded in size.

"The implications of these changes are far more serious that simply altering the landscape," the researchers warned.

"Glaciers are an integral part of thousands of ecosystems and play a crucial role in sustaining ."

All told, southwestern China has 23,488 glaciers, covering an area of 29,523 square kms (11,399 sq. miles) across the Himalayas and the Nyainqntanglha, Tanggula and Hengduan mountains.

Changes in rain and snowfall was less marked, but still consistent with predictions by climate change models, the study found.

"It is imperative we determine the relationship between climate change and glacier variations, particularly the role of precipitation, as the consequences of glacier retreat are far reaching," Li said.

Explore further: US delays decision on Keystone pipeline project

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Shrinking glaciers threaten China

Nov 02, 2007

China's glaciers in western Xinjiang Uygur region are shrinking alarmingly due to global and regional warming, posing a threat to the oases in the area.

2 more glaciers gone from Glacier National Park

Apr 07, 2010

(AP) -- Glacier National Park has lost two more of its namesake moving icefields to climate change, which is shrinking the rivers of ice until they grind to a halt, a government researcher said Wednesday.

Causes of melting tropical glaciers identified

Jun 20, 2011

The causes of melting of tropical glaciers over the past 10 000 years have at last been unveiled by a team of French researchers from CNRS, CEA, IRD and Universite Joseph Fourrier, together with a US researcher ...

Recommended for you

US delays decision on Keystone pipeline project

Apr 18, 2014

The United States announced Friday a fresh delay on a final decision regarding a controversial Canada to US oil pipeline, saying more time was needed to carry out a review.

New research on Earth's carbon budget

Apr 18, 2014

(Phys.org) —Results from a research project involving scientists from the Desert Research Institute have generated new findings surrounding some of the unknowns of changes in climate and the degree to which ...

User comments : 4

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

omatumr
1.4 / 5 (9) Oct 25, 2011
Thanks for the story. I hope that these Chinese scientists are not ignoring Earth's heat source - the Sun.

There is encouraging news from Princeton of studies that may unlock the secret of solar eruptions and changes in Earths climate.

www.princeton.edu...featured

We still do not know the role of the Meissner effect in expelling magnetic fields from the surface of the Sun's deep-seated, iron-rich superconductor [Barry Ninham, "Charged Bose gas in astrophysics", Physics Letters 4, 278-279 (1963].

See also: Super-fluidity in the solar interior: Implications for solar eruptions and climate, Journal of Fusion Energy 21, 193-198 (2002)

http://arxiv.org/.../0501441

With kind regards,
Oliver K. Manuel
http://myprofile....anuelo09
omatumr
1.7 / 5 (6) Oct 25, 2011
See also today's story about unexpected northern lights in the south:

www.physorg.com/n...uth.html
Caliban
5 / 5 (3) Oct 25, 2011
Oliver,

We still do not know the role of the Meissner effect in expelling magnetic fields from the surface of the Sun's deep-seated, iron-rich superconductor [Barry Ninham, "Charged Bose gas in astrophysics", Physics Letters 4, 278-279 (1963].


I thought that the sun was a neutron star. Now you're saying it has a superconducting iron core?

Stop it, man -- you're freaking me out!

jsdarkdestruction
5 / 5 (1) Oct 27, 2011
Oliver Manuel's recent efforts to plaster Physorg.com and other public news sites with his theories and personal URLs are a bit puzzling, as scientists have a variety of publications available to communicate directly to each other in. My best guess is that he is desperately trying to prop up his legacy in light of his arrest in his university office on 7 charges of rape and sodomy based on allegations by 4 of his own children. The charges have been reduced to one count of felony attempted sodomy, not necessarily because of his innocence, but because of the statute of limitations. One can only guess how the recent charges and decades of family strife have affected his ability to reason rationally and to remain objective while defending his unpopular theories.

http://mominer.ms...hildren/

http://www.homefa...uel.html

More news stories

China says massive area of its soil polluted

A huge area of China's soil covering more than twice the size of Spain is estimated to be polluted, the government said Thursday, announcing findings of a survey previously kept secret.

UN weather agency warns of 'El Nino' this year

The UN weather agency Tuesday warned there was a good chance of an "El Nino" climate phenomenon in the Pacific Ocean this year, bringing droughts and heavy rainfall to the rest of the world.

Poll: Big Bang a big question for most Americans

Few Americans question that smoking causes cancer. But they have more skepticism than confidence in global warming, the age of the Earth and evolution and have the most trouble believing a Big Bang created the universe 13.8 ...