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Report issues climate warning for Tibet
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China's Tibet Autonomous Region has been hit hard by global warming -- and it's set to get even harder. An analysis based on models provided by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has predicted higher temperature rises and further changes of rainfall patterns in Tibet over the coming decades, Xinhua reports, Tuesday.

The findings of the study indicate that due to the impact of human activities, temperatures in Tibet will continue to increase throughout the next century. Taking into consideration the impact of greenhouse gases alone, the range of warming will be between 2.4-3.2 degrees Celsius in the middle of this century. The central and northern regions will be affected to a greater extent, warming by 0.4-0.6 degrees in the winter and 0.4-0.5 degrees Celsius in the summer every 10 years.

The analysis charts future changes in rainfall patterns during the same period, which indicates that the average annual precipitation will increase by 30-120 millimeters, with the eastern region receiving the largest increase.

The temperature in the Tibet Autonomous Region has risen by an average of 0.32 degrees Celsius every 10 years from 1961 to 2008, much higher than China's national warming rates of 0.05 to 0.08 degrees, according to an earlier Xinhua report. It says Tibet's average temperature in July this year was the highest since 1951.

Rain in western and southern Tibet lessened by between 30 to 80 percent compared to the same period in previous years.

Global warming has already seen Tibet's snow-line rise, glaciers retreat and an increasing amount of snow melting, resulting in higher water levels further down the line, the report said.

Meanwhile, grassland degradation, desertification, pests and diseases are plaguing the region, which also suffers from a reduction of biodiversity and more frequent and harsher natural disasters.

(CRI September 9, 2009)

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