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Dalai Lama says climate change destroying Tibet’s ‘roof of the world’ - 20th Oct

Tibet glacier

It is thought that two-thirds of the glaciers in Tibet Mountains may disappear by 2050 because of climate change. The Tibetan plateau maintains the largest store of ice outside the North and South Pole and has experienced a rise of 1.3oC over the past 5 decades, 3 times the global average. Tibet, with an average altitude of over 4,000 metres (13,125 ft) is particularly vulnerable to the impact of climate change. Warming is already melting glaciers that are the source of water in rivers that help support about 1.3 billion people. "The Tibetan Plateau needs to be protected, not just for Tibetans but for the environmental health and sustainability of the entire world," the Dalai Lama said.

Close to 200 countries will meet in Paris in December to try to hammer out a deal to slow man-made climate change by aiming to keep temperatures below a ceiling of 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. World leaders are hoping for a successor to the Kyoto Protocol after 2009 climate talks in Copenhagen ended in disappointment due to differences between the United States and China. Tibet's leaders said they want an effective climate change agreement and also want to have a say in the talks. About 80 percent of the ice in Tibet has retreated in the past 50 years, according to the government-in-exile. With the rapidly melting permafrost, 12,300 million tons of carbon could be released into the air, further exacerbating the problems of global warming, they said.

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