Significant increases in annual temperatures are having a devastating affect on glaciers in the mountainous regions of south-western China, potentially affecting natural habitats, tourism and wider economic development.
New research examined data from 111 weather stations across south-western China and showed that temperature patterns were consistent with statistically significant warming, between 1961 and 2008.
The data show that, with rising temperatures, drastic retreats were observed in glacial regions, along with large glacial mass-loss and an increase in the area of glacial lakes.
These changes are more serious than just the alteration of the landscape. Glaciers are an integral part of thousands of ecosystems and play a crucial role in sustaining human populations.