China’s State-Owned Media: ‘Global Warming Is Melting Mountain Ice Cap’ Posing ‘Great Threat’ To Water Supply

No, it’s not news that global warming is melting an ice cap. It’s melting the vast majority of them, especially at the poles.

But Xinhau is China’s major official press agency, and China Daily is a state-controlled daily newspaper (published in English). So it is interesting that this appears to be an official story and that it doesn’t pull any punches:

The spectacular panoramic views of Jade Dragon Snow Mountain have long drawn visitors to capture one of China’s most natural scenic spots.

Located in Yunnan province, the worldwide tourist spot is famed for the snow-capped glacier that has dazzled tourists and photographers for years.

But global warming is changing this once picture perfect site as the southernmost glacier in the Northern Hemisphere is melting away….

Lack of snow in the winter and more rain in summer is accelerating the loss, according to staff with the local weather bureau cited by China News Service.

“The shrinking is speeding. Between 1994 and 2002, Mingyong Glacier has shrunk just 50 meters. But since 2006, it has shrunk 200 meters.”

The China News Service is China’s “second largest state-owned news agency” (after Xinhua). The story continues by making clear both how widespread the problem is and what is causing it.

Dwindling snow on mountains is not just a problem unique to China. The snow line of the Alps has evaporated 100 meters in the past fifty years due to global warming.

Experts believe the speed of the shrinking ice cap is due to global warming caused by a rising world population, increased industrial activities and the growing discharge of pollutants.

Certainly these government-controlled news agencies deserve broad criticism for censorship, but it is remarkable how the Chinese government appears willing to clearly explain the dangers posed by man-made global warming without the wishy-washy language or “false balance” from anti-scientists used by even the best U.S. media outlets.

In fact, China Radio International (CRI), a state-owned radio station, spells out the danger:

… According to a representative from the glacier research institute at the mountain, continual global warming has contributed the most to the shrinking of the glaciers.

… The temperature rise has eventually caused four glaciers to vanish and reduced the total area dramatically.

“The successive melting of glaciers will pose a great threat to the water supply in the region and will lead to the occurrence of geographic disasters and the [ex]tinction of some biological species,” said He Xianzhong, Director of Jade Dragon Snow Mountain Maintenance.


It would be great to see the independent press in this country write a piece that is so straightforward and accurate.


4 Responses to China’s State-Owned Media: ‘Global Warming Is Melting Mountain Ice Cap’ Posing ‘Great Threat’ To Water Supply

  1. Mike Roddy says:

    This is an important signal from China’s leadership, who suffer from fossil fuel company interference just like our politicians do.

    Obama should initiate bilateral talks after the election, whether he wins it or not. The main agenda item would be to greatly accelerate both countries’ transition to clean energy.

    If Romney is elected, there would be great pressure on him to continue these steps. If he refuses, his administration would be discredited, which would also have a positive outcome in the medium term.

  2. The timing of this should, but probably won’t, make it a lively subject for debate tonight.

  3. Mulga Mumblebrain says:

    The prediction that the Himalayan glaciers (the ‘Third Pole’) would largely disappear by 2035, that was so expertly misrepresented by the denialist industry, is, I believe, very likely to come true. Some few western glaciers, around the Karakorum, are, apparently, growing, owing to local climatic conditions, but elsewhere the melt appears to be rapid. The moronic denialist cover-story that the figure was meant to be 2350 is so imbecilic that only the Right could have confected it. By 2350, on the present trajectory,
    there will not be enough ice on the planet left to chill a glass of whiskey.

  4. Ric Merritt says:

    Doesn’t change the main point, but the claim in the China Daily copy that the glacier is the southernmost in the NH looks wrong. See Wikipedia on Jade Dragon Snow Mountain.