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'Roof of the World' Threatened by Deteriorating Environment
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The Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, dubbed as the Roof of the World, is facing the threat of deteriorating environment, according to a latest geological survey.

The China Geological Survey Bureau has recently made public of its milestone geological survey on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, according to which environment of the plateau is getting worse as a result of geological movement.

Geologists said drought of lakes, shrinking of glaciers and decrease of grassland are the major problems threatening the plateau.

Government statistics show that the desert area on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau has expanded to 0.5 million square kilometers with more and more lakes dried up, making up about 19.5 percent of the total area.

In addition, from the 1970s to 2002, the grassland in the area decreased by 24.3 percent, while the glacier area also shrank 147.36 square kilometers each year, said the geologists.

The Qinghai-Tibet Plateau is the cradle of three main Chinese rivers, the Yangtze, Yellow and Lancang rivers. Most of the Chinese civilization emerged along the valleys of the Yangtze and Yellow rivers.

(Xinhua News Agency December 25, 2005)


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