Global warming liquefying the glaciers of Tibet
High-altitude Tibet is known as the “rooftop of the world,” but lately the roof is a bit saggy. Global warming is rapidly melting glaciers on the Tibetan Plateau, water source for many of the region’s rivers. This great melt — already being felt in flooding — could eventually cause water shortages and a variety of other troubles. Villagers in Miyon, who live near a glacier on Meili Snow Mountain at the plateau’s southern end, see the changes up close. “Fifteen years ago, the tip of the glacier was about 200 meters [656 feet] closer to our village,” says Jashi, a middle-aged Miyon farmer. According to Chinese researchers, the Meili glacier has shrunk by about 66 to 98 feet a year since 1998. Snowfall has decreased and summer rains have increased. “All we can do to slow the melting speed,” says research director Yao Tandong, “is to take measures against global warming.” Now, now, let’s not get crazy.
Get Grist in your inbox