Beijing: Glaciers on Mount Everest in Tibet have shrunk by 10 per cent over the past 40 years due to global warming, a Chinese researcher said Wednesday, warning that climate change has impacted the plateau.
Kang Shichang, a researcher at the Institute of Tibetan Plateau Research of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, said the data was based on long-term remote sensing and on-site monitoring.
The glacial lake downstream is 13 times bigger than four decades ago, Kang, who has headed several glacier inspection teams to the Mount Everest area, was quoted as saying by state-run Xinhua news agency.
Glaciers on Mount Everest in Tibet have shrunk by 10 per cent over the past 40 years due to global warming, he said.
Glaciers in the Tibetan Plateau combined cover an area of about 50,000 sq km, accounting for more than 80 per cent of China`s total.
Glaciers are very sensitive to climate change and therefore serve as monitors, he said.
Climate change has impacted the plateau, which has the highest altitude in the world.
Kang said glaciers started to shrink since the 20th century and speeded up since the 1990s.
Compared with 20 years ago, the serac forest is now at higher altitude and glaciers have more and bigger cracks, he said.
The glaciers on the plateau are supplementary water sources of many inland rivers and lakes and shrinkage could reduce water flow downstream.