Natural disasters active on Tibetan plateau: report

Beijing, Nov 18 (IANS) Natural disasters are on the rise on the Tibetan plateau as the region is affected by global warming and increased human activity, according to a recent environmental assessment report.

The report on environmental change of the world’s highest plateau was published on Wednesday by the Institute of Tibetan Plateau Research under the Chinese Academy of Sciences, reports Xinhua news agency.

It said disasters including landslides, torrential floods and snow disasters were expected to increase and fires would be more difficult to prevent and extinguish.

According to the report, about 1,500 mountain torrents were reported on the plateau from 1950 to 2010, with the worst in 1998 when over 50 counties in Tibet were affected.

The floods on the plateau are attributed to frequent extreme precipitation during rainy seasons.

Meanwhile, the report warned iced lakes and barrier lakes on the plateau were also posing a threat as more than 20 overflowed during the 20th century, leading to severe disasters in the region.

As one of the major forests in the nation, risk of fire is also high due to strong wind and lack of rain and snow, it said. From 1988 to 2014, 373 forest fires were reported, according to the report.

In addition, the scale of snow storms and avalanches has expanded markedly over the past 40 years under the influence of climate change, affecting human activities and the climate in the north hemisphere, the report said.

With an average altitude of over 4,500 meters, the Tibetan plateau is known as the core of “The Third Pole”.


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