by Staff Writers
Beijing (UPI) Oct 21, 2011
Global warming is causing glaciers in southwest China, the major source of the country's largest rivers, to melt faster than ever, researchers said.
Experts have been monitoring glaciers in China's Qinghai province that feed the Yangtze, Yellow and Lancang rivers since 2005, China's state-run news agency Xinhua reported Friday.
Researchers said a large area of the glaciers has melted in the 900-square-mile region.
Aerial surveys show a cluster of some 80 glaciers around the Aemye Ma-chhen Range, the source of the Yellow River headwaters, is shrinking especially fast, they said.
"I can sometimes see the Ameye Ma-chhen Range on the plane. But I worry that we are not likely to see the glaciers there in 10 years or more," Li Xiaonan, deputy head of the Qinghai Three-River Headwaters Office, said.
About 5.3 percent, or 27 square miles, of the glaciers in Yangtze headwaters have melted in the past three decades, another researcher said.
"The melting of glaciers is closely connected with climate change," Cheng Haining, senior engineer with the provincial surveying and mapping bureau, said.
The shrinking of the glaciers could lead to a water shortage and even a dry-up of rivers in the long run, leading to ecological disasters such as wetland retreat and desertification, the researchers said.
Beyond the Ice Age
Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.
Research shows how life might have survived 'snowball Earth'
Seattle WA (SPX) Oct 12, 2011
"Under those frigid conditions, there are not a lot of places where you would expect liquid water and light to occur in the same area, and you need both of those things for photosynthetic algae to survive," said Adam Campbell, a University of Washington doctoral student in Earth and space sciences. A long, narrow body of water such as the Red Sea, about 6.5 times longer than it is wide, wo ... read more
|The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2011 - Space Media Network. AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement|