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Global warming increases Tibet's arable land year by year

Source:China Tibet Online 2015年07月13日 16:17

Global warming has not only resulted in rising temperatures and a continued increase in annual precipitation level, but has also increased the area of arable land in Tibet in the last 53 years, according to the Tibet Meteorological Bureau.

For the last 15 years, Tibet's vegetation coverage increased by more than eight percent. Tibet's overall ecological system has increased with part of it deteriorating. .

The Qinghai-Tibet Plateau sits at an average 4,000 meters above sea level and is marked by diverse terrain. China's river and ecological sources are found in this cold and dry climate. Since this region is so sensitive to global climate change, it also serves as a global early warning zone. Its special geographic location and environment make Tibet one of the most fragile ecological areas in China.

According the Tibetan Meteorological Bureau statistics from 1961 to 2014, global warming has significantly increased the surface temperature in Tibet by an average of 0.31 Celsius every ten years.

The deputy director of the Tibetan Meteorological Bureau said, "Tibet's increase in annual average temperatures is much larger than those of both China and Asia as a whole within the same period".

Tibet has also seen a continued increase in average annual precipitation level due to global warming. From 1961 to 2014, the precipitation levels have increased by 6.9 millimeters every ten years, especially in spring and autumn. In 2014, Tibet's annual precipitation reached 478.9 millimeters, 25.2 millimeters more than its average precipitation level. While there has been a decline in the precipitation of China as a whole, the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau has instead seen an increase of 7.9 millimeters every ten years.

In recent years, the Tibetan Meteorological Bureau has utilized advanced satellite remote sensing technology to monitor progress and safety in Tibetan grassland, lakes, wetland, forests, and glaciers. Through analysis of this remote satellite sensing data and climate conditions, there has been an increase in Tibet's vegetation coverage by more than eight percent. There have also been significant changes in forest ecosystems as well as a decline in the existing area of wetland regions.

Global warming has overall benefited the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau's ecological system by increasing variation within local ecosystems. Although global warming resulting from human activities can bring harmful effects such as glaciers melting and adversely influencing certain species, humans can also actively use these changes to improve the environment as a whole, according to the Tibetan Meteorological Bureau's Climate Center director Du Jun.

"With climate change Tibet's arable land is increasing, which will be conducive to its crop production. Tibet has also adopted policies prohibiting grazing with subsidies to ensure that agriculture forage and livestock are balanced. This has effectively helped restore the grassland."

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