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Yulong Snow Mountain's glaciers disappearing

By in Features on

The glaciers of Yulong Snow Mountain (玉龙雪山), one of Lijiang's top tourist attractions and a major source of water for the region, are disappearing quickly due to global warming, according to information released by the Frigid and Arid Zone Environment and Engineering Institute of the China Academy of Sciences.

Between 1982 and 2002, Yulong Snow Mountain's largest glacier, Baishui Number One Glacier, receded 250 meters. The glacier and other glaciers on the mountain also became thinner and have been accumulating less snow, the institute said. The above photos compare the mountain several years ago (top) with how it appeared this past Sunday.

Yulong Snow Mountain is a mountain massif, or small mountain range, which is seated 25 kilometers north of Lijiang's old town and forms the southern side of Tiger Leaping Gorge, one of the world's deepest gorges. It spans 13 kilometers from east to west and is home to 19 glaciers covering a total area of 11.6 square kilometers.

Yulong's glaciers are crucial to the surrounding area's ecology and they are also a major tourist draw for Lijiang, one of China's most popular travel destinations. The photos below compare how one of Yulong's peaks looked in November 2004 (top) and last Saturday.

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Comments

yes, but are those pictures taken during the same season? If not it's not really an accurate comparison, is it?

I'd expect the peak to be snowier in fall or winter than in summer, or is that an error on my part?

These were glaciers, therefore they were there in the summer and in the winter. Where once Yulong Snow Mountain was capped with snow all year round, it no longer is. You can ask any local about their mountain, and they will tell you it is no longer the same.

I first went up to Yulong Xueshan in summer 2007, then again in November 2007. Both times, the mountaintop was covered in ice and snow. When I went in November 2007, I also did the Tiger Leaping Gorge hike and saw lots of snow coming pretty far down the mountains. I just finished the Tiger Leaping Gorge hike, and the very top was covered in clouds. But in the area below the clouds, there was no snow. I chalked it up to the seasons just like you, Dianjing until I saw the photo attached to this article. That is not the same mountain I went up in July 2007. That is really scary.

thanks for explaining it further. I was also surprised when I visited in summer 2007 that there was not much snow visible on the mtn, b/c I thought the snow caps were there year round.

We are Malaysians who visited Yulong Snow Mountain in end May 09. Put aside the poor weather (raining all day), we were actually quite disspointed for not able to see the mountain top at all throughout our stay in Lijiang.

It's no big deal. Its just that thing called 'weather'. Sometimes it's hot, sometimes its cold.

I was there in Dec. 09 and the mountain was covered with snow. The actual glacier is to the right of this picture and out of view.

That being said, if the glacier has receded 250m in the last 20 or so years, it is what it is.

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