Paris - Sharp increases in temperature driven by global warming are melting China's Himalayan glaciers, an impact that threatens habitats, tourism and economic development, says a study released on Tuesday.
Of 111 weather stations scattered across south-west China, 77 percent showed significant upticks in temperatures between 1961 and 2008, according to the study, published in a British peer-reviewed journal, Environmental Research Letters.
At the 14 monitoring stations above 4,000 metres, the jump over this period was 1.73 degrees Celsius , roughly twice the average global increase over the last century.
Researchers led by Li Zhongxing of the Chinese Academy of Sciences identified three changes occurring in glaciers that could be caused, at least in part, by this steady warming trend.
Many of the glaciers examined showed a “drastic retreat” as well as large loss of mass, they reported.