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Tibet braces for another mild winter

(Xinhua)

14:21, December 03, 2011

LHASA, Dec. 3 (Xinhua) -- The "roof of the world" is bracing for another mild winter this year, or the 11th such season since 2001, due to the impact of global warming.

From Jan. 1 to Nov. 15, the average temperature in the Tibet Autonomous Region in southwest China ranged from minus 0.7 degrees Celsius to 14.7 degrees, or 0.5 degrees higher than normal years in most parts of the region, according to the latest data released by the Climate Center under the Tibet Regional Meteorological Bureau.

In some areas, including the regional capital of Lhasa, Ngari Prefecture and Tsethang Township, the temperature was 1-1.5 degrees higher than normal years, a center spokesman said Saturday.

"Those statistics show that Tibet will experience another mild winter," he said. "That is closely linked with the global warming."

Over the past 50 years, the annual average temperature in Tibet has increased by 0.32 degrees every decade, especially in the past 10 years, he said.

During the previous winter lasting from December 2010 to February 2011, the average temperature in Tibet stood at minus 12.1 to 5.4 degrees, or 1.2 degrees higher than normal years in some areas, he said.

"With the temperatures rising, extreme weather events have been occuring more often than the past," he added, without providing further details.

But one thing is certain -- glaciers on the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau, the major source of the country's largest rivers, are melting faster than ever under the influence of global warming.

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