Floods First, Then Drought: Tibet Warming Four Times Faster Than China

tibet sunset snow photo

photo: Jan Reurnik via flickr (lots of great photos in his photostream, by the way, check them out...).

Much of the focus in discussing the impact of global warming on China has been on densely populated coastal regions and the effect that rise sea levels will have. But the effects of global warming that western China and Tibet will face are no less severe, and could have great impact outside the region—a fact emphasized by the head of the China Meteorological Bureau recently:Zheng Guoguang pointed out that temperatures in Tibet have been rising 0.32°C every decade since the 1960s (higher than the global average increase), and that China's national average temperature rise had only been 0.08°C, the region was particularly at risk because of climate change.

The impact of global warming has accelerated glacial shrinkage, and the melting glaciers have swollen Tibet's lakes. If the warming continues millions of people in western China will face floods in the short term and drought in the long run.

Is It Wise to Build Dams in a Region Which Will Likely be Far Drier?
Which is all very true, but I wonder if the Meteorological Bureau and the bureau planning 20 dams on the headwaters of the Yangtze, on rivers in southern Tibet, and on the Indus River talk much about the impact the climate change will have on the long-term feasibility of these projects.

via: AFP/Yahoo News
Global Climate Change, China, Tibet
China Wants 20 More Dams on the Headwaters of the Yangtze River
Some Himalayan Glaciers are Growing. Does This Mean Global Warming Isn't Real?
Everest and Himalayan Glaciers Could Vanish By 2035, Imperiling a Billion People
Global Warming Melting Glaciers, Shrinking Harvests in China and India

Related Content on Treehugger.com