• China is home to almost 15 percent of the glaciers in the world.

China is home to almost 15 percent of the glaciers in the world. (Photo : www.wikimapia.org)

Experts expressed concern as glaciers around China and Mount Everest slowly shrink, which is feared to later trigger a series of disasters.

Since 1974, around 10 percent of glaciers in the vicinity of Mount Everest were found to have retreated, Kang Shichang, an official at the Institute of Tibetan Plateau Research, told the Xinhua News Agency.

Like Us on Facebook

Kang further said that a glacial lake under the mountain grew 13 times larger than its size decades ago.

Zhang Mingxing, director of Tibet's mountaineering administration center, also revealed that the mountaineer's base camp, 5,200 meters above the sea level, which was covered by a thick layer of ice years ago, is now left with stones.

The meltdown of the camp surprised the climbers.

Glaciers are one of the most important bodies of water as they provide drinking water, irrigate crops, help generate hydroelectric power as well as contribute to the tourism economy.

In China, glaciers are the source of life especially in the dry parts of the Western region.

Studies show that the increased amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere due to the production of electricity using coal and petroleum, and other uses of fossil fuels in transportation and industry, can result in the formation of “greenhouse gases.”

These gases had caused of most of the climate warming and glacial retreat in the past 50 years.

Liu Shiyin, who led a survey about China's glaciers, told Xinhua that the melting of glaciers will unavoidably result in ecological and environmental change.

Shrinking glaciers might also release meltwater and create lakes which can lead to disaster, Liu added.

According to history, flooding and mudslides have caused disasters between the 1930 and 1990 prior to the rifting of glacial lakes.

There are more than 46,000 glaciers in China, which include Kangshung and Rongbuk Glaciers from Tibet, as well as the Mingyong Glacier in Yunnan.

Almost 15 percent of the world's glaciers are found in the country.