(TibetanReview.net, Mar 13, 2009) — China said Mar 10 that the Qinghai-Tibet Railway was safe from the effects of global warming for at least 40 years. The highest railway in the world was built with designs to accommodate the impact of global warming, China’s official Xinhua news agency Mar 10 cited Yao Tandong, a researcher with the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau Research Institute of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, as saying.
“According to the current pace of global warming, the plateau’s temperature would rise 2.5 Celsius degree around 2050 from the end of 20th century,” it quoted Yao as saying on the sidelines of China’s annual parliamentary session. He had added that the railway was built to allow a 2-3 Celsius degree temperature rise through measures including fixing ventilators under the railway and installing equipment producing cooling air to prevent thawing of tundra.
Glaciers on the Tibetan Plateau had retreated at the average rate of 131.4 square kilometres per year, twice the size of Beijing’s downtown area, in the past three decades, the report said. It cited experts as saying a further 13,000 square kilometres of glaciers would disappear from the plateau by 2050 if no protective measures were taken.