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Afforestation Helps Reduce Sandstorm Days in Tibet
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Afforestation projects have led to a dramatic drop in the annual number of sandstorms in Tibet Autonomous Region in southwest China.  

According to the regional meteorological station, Lhasa has seen the number of sandstorm days drop to 5.2 days this year from 53.8 days in the early 1950s.


The early 1970s to early 1980s saw increasing sandstorms in Tibet -- peaking in 1984. Since then the number has dropped gradually and even faster in recent years, research results have shown.


Large-scale tree planting was launched in the mid-1960s, with efforts increasing in the 1990s. About 13,600 hectares of new forest are planted each year, and 26,700 hectares of hills are fenced up for tree planting yearly.


Tibet has harnessed desert area of 25,800 hectares and soil-eroded area totaling 100,000 hectares since the 1990s.


But experts warn that global climate warming has caused the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau temperature to rise gradually and windy days to reduce. This is also a major factor behind declining sandstorms.


(Xinhua News Agency November 21, 2004)

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