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China discovers "new" glaciers on roof of world

September 26, 2007

BEIJING, Tue Sep 25, 2007 Reuters) - China has discovered 42 glaciers on
the roof of the world, the Qinghai-Tibet plateau where ice is shrinking
due to global warming, and the group could be the biggest of them all,
state media said on Tuesday.

Beijing has become increasingly concerned about global warming as
studies show glaciers retreating on the plateau, where China's largest
rivers originate.

The 49 glaciers were found by satellite imagery in Bomi County which has
an average altitude of 4,200 metres above sea level, the China Daily
reported.

The rivers of ice on the plateau, which borders the Himalayas, account
for around four-fifths of China's glaciers and are crucial for drinking
water and irrigation at ground level.

"(If the find is confirmed) it would be the biggest glacier group on the
plateau," Zhaxi Norbu, director of the county's publicity department,
was quoted as saying.

China has about 46,000 glaciers, totalling 60,000 square kilometres
primarily in Tibet and Xinjiang.

Over the past century, the area of the glaciers has shrunk by around 30
percent.

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