photo: Michael Goodine via flickr.
China Daily reports that average temperatures in Tibet were higher on average last year than at any point since records began in 1961. The average temperature in the region for all of 2009 was 5.9°C, 1.5°C higher than normal: What's more, summer temperatures in Lhasa set a new record high of 30.4°C, half a degree warmer than the previous record set in 1971. Xigaze also saw a new record daytime temperature of 32.5°C, that too 0.5°C warmer than the previous record. At the foot of Mt Everest too, a new record high temperature of 25.8°C was reached.
Of the 38 observatories across Tibet, 29 saw record temperatures last year.
Since records began, temperatures have been rising an average of 0.32°C per decade, notably higher than the national average increases of 0.05-0.08°C.
In addition to the higher temperatures, rainfall in the region declined by 20% to set a new record low of 363mm.