Researchers say that glaciers in China's Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau are melting at a faster rate because of global warming.
According to experts, a large area of the glaciers, the major source of the country's largest rivers-Yellow and Lancang, has melted in the 2,400-square-kilometer region.
Li Xiaonan, an expert with Qinghai's Three-River Headwaters Office said the cluster of some 80 glaciers around the Aemye Ma-chhen Range, the source of the Yellow River headwaters, is shrinking especially fast.
"I can sometimes see the Ameye Ma-chhen Range on the plane. But I worry that we are not likely to see the glaciers there in ten years or more," Xinhua quoted Xiaonan, as saying.
Cheng Haining, senior engineer with the provincial surveying and mapping bureau, pointed out that around 5.3 percent, or 70 square kilometers of the glaciers in Yangtze headwaters had melted away over the past three decades, adding that the melting of glaciers is closely connected with climate change.
Another expert, Xin Yuanhong, a senior engineer with the Qinghai Hydrography and Geology Study Center, warned the melting of the glaciers could lead to a water shortage and even a dry-up of rivers in the long run, and consequent ecological disasters like wetland retreat and desertification.