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UN climate report finds accelerated glacier melting in Tibet

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(TibetanReview.net, Apr29’22) – The Himalayan watershed, which is sometimes known as the “Third Pole”, is warming up faster than the global average, resulting in the accelerated melting of glaciers, reported China’s official chinadaily.com.cn Apr 29, citing a UN climate report released on Apr 28.

Produced by the United Nations Environment Program and titled A Scientific Assessment of the Third Pole Environment, the report was cited to blame windblown pollutants for further exacerbating conditions in the highest region on earth.

Over the past 40 years, the Third Pole had lost a glacier mass of approximately 450 cubic kilometres — between 20 to 80 km³ — as a result of black carbon and other light absorbing impurities, the report was cited as saying.

The Himalayan watershed was reported to have experienced increasingly warm and wet weather over the past 60 years, warming at a rate of over 0.3 C per decade, far surpassing the global average.

In particular, glacier melting was stated to have been intensifying since the 1980s, with more intensive melting along the Himalayas and in the southeastern sector of the Third Pole.

The increased melting was stated to have led to a continued rise in the number and the surface area of lakes since the 1990s, with lake water increasing at a rate of 8 gigatons per year, corresponding to an increase in water levels of 0.14 meters per year.

“Projected warming in the Third Pole is greater than the global average; it is expected that there will be widespread increases in annual precipitation over the coming period,” the report was quoted as saying.

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