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China spots 42 new glaciers

Fresh ice on the Qinghai-Tibet plateau

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China has trumpeted the discovery of 42 "new" glaciers on the Qinghai-Tibet plateau, possibly representing the largest group of such ice flows in the area.

According to Reuters, experts used satellite images to pinpoint the glaciers in Bomi County, which boasts an average altitude of 4,200m (13,800ft) above sea level. Although the surface area of the finds is unknown, they join China's roster of around 46,000 glaciers, covering a total of 60,000 square kilometers (23,000 square miles).

The size of the glaciers is significant because those of the Qinghai-Tibet plateau, which make up roughly four-fifths of the country's ice rivers, are vital to China's water supply and are shrinking as a result of global warming. Indeed, in the last 100 years, their surface area has been reduced by 30 per cent, Reuters notes. ®

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