China has completed construction of a state-level modernized
climate observatory in Xigaze City, southern Tibet Autonomous
Region, also the first of its kind in Tibet, to better monitor
climatic changes on the "roof of the world."
The observatory features such modern equipment as a GPS/MET
observation system, atmospheric element observation system,
lightning positioning observation facility and a meteorological
satellite remote sensing receival system, said Dainzin, chief of
the general office with Xigaze Prefectural Bureau of
"The new modernized observatory will play an important role in
improving the accuracy of weather forecasts in Xigaze region,"
Dainzin said. The observatory began construction early this year
and costs 1.8 million yuan (about 240,000 U.S. dollars).
In accordance with a China Meteorological Administration
development plan, similar facilities will be constructed in other
areas of Tibet if conditions warrant.
Tibet experienced its third warm winter in the last seven years
between December 2006 and February 2007, with a temperature rise of
nine degrees in some areas, the Tibet Autonomous Regional
Meteorological Bureau said.
Global warming has led to the acceleration of glacial melting in
the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, which, regarded as a barometer for the
world's climatic conditions, has seen its glaciers melt at an
annual average rate of 131.4 square kilometers over the past three
decades, scientists said.
They also warned that Mount Qomolangma, also known as Mount
Everest, which sits in the southern part of Xigaze and 8844.43
meters above sea level, will eventually become naked without the
cover of snow and ice if global warming continues to melt the
glaciers in the plateau.
(Xinhua News Agency November 17, 2007)