Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Global warming in Tibet is definitely not good

There have been some recent reports that imply how global warming in Tibet is actually a good thing, especially for agriculture and tourism because increased temperatures have prolonged the growing season of crops. Tibet is specific area when we look at the big global warming picture because of two reasons. The first reason is the fact that global warming in Tibet is increasing temperatures four times faster than anywhere else in China, and the second even more important reason is that Tibetan plateau is the world's third-largest store of ice (Tibetan glaciers), and therefore an extremely important source of water for many Asian countries.

Comments that global warming in Tibet is actually a good thing are really one-dimensional comments that do not look at both positive as well as the negative sides but stick only with positive ones. Statements how Tibet should be really looking forward to global warming because the number of tourists in this year has been tripled compared to the last year, and how growing season of the crops is now longer than it used to be is really looking at just one side of the story that is in given circumstances less important than the other, negative side of the story.

Sadly the negative effects of global warming are hugely overshadowing the positive ones in Tibet, especially on the long run. Melting of the Tibetan ice is very likely to cause serious flooding on the short run, and in the lung run there won’t be enough water to supply depending countries because Tibetan glaciers are vital lifelines for Asian rivers, including the major rivers like Indus and the Ganges, and this will in years to come cause huge problem of water scarcity across the many Asian countries.

So global warming is definitely not welcome in Tibet. Some short term effects may seem positive from the current point of view but the big picture should also include the years to come, and they definitely do not look to be bringing any joy in this part of the world. Just misery.

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