In China a Sacred Glacier Recedes

Written by David Connell on . Posted in Learn

By Megan Fetzer Sheehan

Climate change is causing glaciers in China’s northwest Yunnan Province — including a glacier on one of Tibetan Buddhism’s eight sacred mountains — to recede at a historic pace, according to findings by Nature Conservancy scientists.

Northwest Yunnan— which has one of the most diverse temperate ecosystems on Earth — is threatened by rising temperatures that are double the average global trend, according to Barry Baker, a climate-change modeler for the Conservancy. One of the biggest indicators of this warming trend in northwest Yunnan has been the receding glaciers of the Tibetan Plateau — including the Mingyong Glacier, considered sacred by Tibetan Buddhists.

Baker and fellow Conservancy scientists have been studying the effects of climate change in northwest Yunnan Province for the last 5 years. He talked with about the trends he and his partners have discovered, the natural impacts of glacial recessions on local communities, and what can be done to adapt to the impacts of climate change.

Read the interview on

(Image: Prayer flags at Mingyong Glacier, Yunnan Province, China. By Scott Warren/The Nature Conservancy)

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Planet Change is a Nature Conservancy blog site designed to share stories about actions the Conservancy and others around the world are taking to fight carbon pollution and the impacts of climate change, and to help people feel the connections between climate change and their daily lives and understand actions they can take.

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