Tibetan Plateau facing disaster as glaciers melt

Namtso lake in Tibetan Plateau is possible climate threat as glaciers melt due to extreme temperatures

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Woman carrying a child on the shores of Namtso lake in Tibet Autonomous Region, China November 18, 2015.

Updated Dec 11, 2015

In a region of the Tibetan Plateau, covering parts of central and east Asia, lies the Namtso lake, which is worshipped by many pilgrims, but is currently representing a big threat to nature.

The glaciers covering the lake have a deeper meaning than just a holy site. They represent the changing of the seasons. As Hersman Namgye says, the glaciers come and go according to the seasons and therefore the temperatures.

“The glaciers are a symbol of the seasons. When the weather gets warm the ice melts and in winter it gets cold and turns back to ice,” Namgye said to TRT World.

However, the lake is not the same anymore. Within 15 years its size grew by 50 square centimeters due to the extreme temperatures in the region causing a significant change to the environment.

“We have some of the small glaciers disappearing and lake increased in size because of the water coming from the glacial sides. So the global warming has a strong impact on the Tibetan Plateau particularly for the glaciers,” climate change expert Dawa Tsering said to TRT World.

In the highest saltwater lake in the world, the glaciers shrunk 15 percent, causing fast temperature rises.

Li Yan from Greenpeace China, stressed the danger on people’s lives living in the region.

“The Plateau is a source of many of Asia’s most important rivers. If estimated sources of drinking water dry up even more quickly over the next few decades, the lives of tens of thousands of people living in towns and cities downstream as well as the society and the economy will face a serious threat”