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青藏高原冰川退缩引起中国注意 Vanishing Glaciers of Tibetan Plateau attracts China’s Attention

11/12/09

–Mengxiao Han, Nanjing, China

As an expedition from Chinese state television worked its way across the Tibetan Plateau earlier this year, the explorers were amazed by what they found.Besides the North and South Poles, the plateau has been called the world’s third largest ice store. However, Chinese scientist discovers, the “third pole” is warming up faster than anywhere else on earth.

The explorers found bare rock where glacier had melt. Lakes had dried up. Lush grass land had turned to deserts. The livestock was dead, and the farmers suffered from hardscrabble life.

This film attracted the attention of the Communist party’s leaders and had put this issue at the center of the remarkably open debate in China ahead of a summit in Copenhagen next month.

The speed and scale of change on the Tibetan plateau have made Chinese leaders recognize – a potential threat to the future of China itself. They are clearly seeking to mold opinion of “greener” policies after decades of a highly polluting dash for economic growth that has poisoned China’s rivers and darkened the skies.

今年年初,中国国家电视台一直探险队踏上青藏高原,队员们被眼前的景象惊呆了。这里曾经是除北极和南极之外世界上冰川覆盖面积最大的高原。然后,中国科学家说,,这个“第三极”正在以快于全球任何地方的速度迅速变暖。

探险队发现,冰川退缩的地方全是光秃秃的石头。湖泊已经干涸,茂盛的草原变成了荒漠,牲畜大量死亡,牧民生活窘迫。

这部片子引起共产党领导人的关注。在下月关于气候变化问题的哥本哈根峰会召开之前,这个问题就已经在中国国内被广泛讨论。

也就是说,下周贝拉克·奥巴马总统访华时,他会发现接待方早已准备好与他讨论减缓全球变暖速度的多项措施。

任何妥协都可能打破国际僵局并促成签约。然而,尽管目前看来这不太可能实现——主持对话的联合国官员也承认这一点——但事实上,中国对于气候变化危害已经有了前所未有的觉醒。

青藏高原气候变化的速度和规模令中国领导人认识到,这可能威胁到中国自身的未来。他们显然正在努力引导支持“绿色”政策的舆论。数十年来,中国以高污染模式盲目追求经济增长,导致河流受到污染,天空蒙上阴霾。青藏高原冰川面积曾一度达到1.8万平方英里(约4.7平方公里)目前80%的冰川都在退缩,冰川总面积在过去20年里减少了4.5%。

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