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  • Xinjiang to ban tourists to glaciers
    2016-02-14    source:Xinhua    author:

    Glaciers in the Tianshan Mountains.[Photo by Cai Zengle/Asianewsphoto]

    Tourists have been forbidden from entering glaciers in Northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, authorities said on Thursday.
    "Glacier tourism brought in revenue of less than one billion yuan ($152 million) over the past dozen years, but the loss from shrinking glaciers is incalculable," said Li Jidong from the regional tourism administration.
    According to the new regulation, tourists are only allowed to enjoy the sight of glaciers from a distance instead of walking on them.
    Statistics showed the temperature of the region has risen 0.33 degrees Celsius to 0.39 degrees Celsius per decade over the past 50 years, almost three times the global average.
    China has 46,377 glaciers, with 18,311, or 46.8 percent of the national ice reserves located in Xinjiang. Global warming, grazing, mining and tourism have accelerated destruction of the glaciers, and led to water shortages in several areas.
    Glacier meltwater accounts for about 25 to 30 percent of Xinjiang's surface run-off, and the thawing of the glaciers could have a disastrous effect on the region, according to the Tianshan Mountains Glacier Observation Station under the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS).