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Saturday October 01, 2022

Tibetan Plateau water stores under threat

By AFP
August 16, 2022

PARIS: The Tibetan Plateau will experience significant water loss this century due to global warming, according to research published on Monday that warns of severe supply stress in a climate change "hotspot".

The reservoirs of the Tibetan Plateau, which covers much of southern China and northern India, are fed by monsoons and currently supply most of the water demand for nearly two billion people.

But the plateau’s complex terrain has made it difficult for scientists to predict how warming temperatures and altered weather patterns linked to climate change will affect the region’s water stores. Researchers based in China and the United States used satellite-based measurements to determine the net change in water and ice mass over the past two decades.

They added in direct measurements of glaciers, lakes and sub-surface water levels to estimate changes in the water mass, then used a machine learning technique to predict storage changes under scenarios such as higher air temperature and reduced cloud cover.

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