Melting glacier in China draws tourists, climate worries

Published: 23rd October 2018 02:41 PM  |   Last Updated: 23rd October 2018 02:50 PM  

Millions of people each year are drawn to Baishui's frosty beauty on the southeastern edge of the Third Pole - a region in Central Asia with the world's third-largest store of ice after Antarctica and Greenland that's roughly the size of Texas and New Mexico combined. (Photo | AP)
Third Pole glaciers are vital to billions of people from Vietnam to Afghanistan. Asia's 10 largest rivers - including the Yangtze, Yellow, Mekong, and Ganges - are fed by seasonal melting. (Photo | AP)
'China has always had a freshwater supply problem with 20 percent of the world's population but only 7 percent of its freshwater,' said Jonna Nyman, an energy security lecturer at the University of Sheffield. 'That's heightened by the impact of climate change.' (Photo | AP)
Selfie tourists
Earth is today 1 degree Centigrade (1.8 Fahrenheit) hotter than pre-industrial levels because of climate change, enough to melt 28 to 44 percent of glaciers worldwide, according to a new report by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Temperatures are expected to keep rising. (Photo | AP)
The glacier has lost 60 percent of its mass and shrunk 250 meters (820 feet) since 1982, according to a 2018 report in the Journal of Geophysical Research. (Photo | AP)
Last year, 2.6 million tourists visited the mountain, according to Yulong Snow Mountain park officials. (Photo | AP)
To protect the glacier, authorities have limited the number of visitors to 10,000 a day and have banned hiking on the ice. They plan to manufacture snow and to dam streams to increase humidity that slows melting. (Photo | AP)
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