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 Rápido deshielo de glaciares de China infographic
El gráfico muestra cómo se están derritiendo en China el glaciar Laohugou No. 12 y sus glaciares vecinos.


Los glaciares en China se derriten a un ritmo alarmante

By Ninian Carter

November 11, 2020 - Más de 2.600 glaciares en la inhóspita meseta tibetana de China se están derritiendo a un ritmo alarmante – pero ninguno de ellos más que el gigantesco Laohugou No. 12.

There are 2,684 glaciers in China’s Qilian mountain range – all of them disappearing at an unprecedented rate due to the effects of global warming.

The largest glacier in the region, Laohugou No. 12, has retreated about 450 metres in the past 70 years, since Chinese researchers set up a monitoring station to study it.

The 20-square kilometre glacier has shrunk by around 7% during that time, with melting accelerating in the mid-1980s. Also of concern is the loss of ice thickness, with about 13 metres of ice having disappeared.

The Tibetan plateau, the source of the Yangtze and other great Asian rivers, is sometimes termed the “Third Pole” given its ice fields contain the largest reserve of fresh water outside of the polar regions.

Since the 1950s, average temperatures in the area have risen by about 1.5C, with no end in sight.

Data from the China Academy of Sciences shows that glacial retreat was 50% faster from 1990 to 2010 than it was from 1956 to 1990.

Glacial meltwater is pooling into lakes, causing floods in springtime and droughts in the summer, with vegetable farmers suffering as a result – reduced opportunities for irrigation mean smaller yields.

Glacial melting could peak within 10 years, after which the region could enter into water crisis.

PUBLISHED: 11/11/2020; STORY: Graphic News