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Global warming threatening Meili Snow Mountain

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Points of extreme elevation are useful tools for scientists to study the effects of global warming on the Earth. Meili Snow Mountain's Mingyong glacier - which has receded by 40 meters in the last 13 years - not only demonstrates the existence of global warming but also the threat it poses to humanity, according to Liu Jiaxun, deputy director of Diqing Prefecture's Meteorological Bureau who has been researching northwest Yunnan's major peaks.

Located near northwest Yunnan's border with Tibet, Meili Snow Mountain (梅里雪山) is the highest mountain in Yunnan and is considered one of China's - and the world's - most spectacular mountains. The snow-capped mountain is also known as Kawagebo to Tibetan Buddhists, for whom it is one of eight sacred mountains.

Towering above everything else in sight at 6,740 meters (22,240 feet) above sea level, Mt Meili will be completely snowless within 80 years if current global warming rates persist, according to Liu. The researcher came to his conclusion after monitoring Mt Meili and other nearby mountains including Haba Snow Mountain and Baima Snow Mountain for ten years.

Mt Meili's Mingyong glacier is China's lowest and southernmost glacier at 2,700 meters above sea level and 28.5 degrees north of the equator. Liu told China's Xinhua News Agency that Mingyong's melting would create two kinds of crises for people living downstream from the glacier. As the rate of melting increased, farms and settlements would be damaged by flooding and mudslides/rockslides. After melting, the disappearance of the glacier would cause rivers to shrink dramatically and drought would ensue.

Liu said the area's average temperature rose from 4.8 degrees Celsius to 5.2 degrees Celsius from 1990 to 2006.

Image: The Nature Conservancy

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i think we need to stop global warming, because us "the kids' right now are going to be dealing with it when we are 70 years old!!! LETS DO SOMETHING FOR OUR WROLD!!!!!!

Karen, there are several things that anyone can do to simply reduce the amount of fossil fuels we need. I have attempted to associate a relative cost with each item, and the net effect on your money.

1) $(save) For "A/C" in the summer, open the windows at night and close them during the day

2) $(a little more) buy recycled products if you can find them- support recycling;

3) $(same, better quality) buy local products & produce (www.localharvest.org)- if they are not transported, that saves gasoline and also supports the local producer. Also, for grass-fed, local meat (the way it is supposed to be done), try Eat Wild (www.eatwild.com/products/index.html);

4) $(free) composting turns garbage into fertilizer and prevents formation of methane, which is 23 times worse than carbon dioxide in terms of climate effect;

5) $(save) Unplug all adapters and turn off anything that is on 'Standby'- use powerstrips with a switch for multiple plugs, if needed;

6) $(20, save) use a rake instead of a leaf blower: they are quieter and provide exercise too;

7) $(20, save) use a clothesline (www.laundrylist.org) instead of the dryer- many benefits: cleaner clothes, clothes last longer, don't get wrinkled, and each load saves 5 kWh off of your electric bill;

8) $(40, save) replace incandescents with CFLs- saves on A/C costs in summer too;

9) $(80, save) use a REEL lawnmower, which you push to cut the grass and requires no gasoline;

10) $(280/ton, even) if you have a wood burning stove, try biobricks (www.biopellet.net) - pellets for a wood burning stove- these burn more cleanly with less ash and are easy to start (available in New England and NY) ;

11) $(2.45/Gal, a little more) try to use biodiesel (www.biodiesel.org/buyingbiodiesel/retailfuelingsites/) for your furnace/boiler/car;

12) $(same as 2006 electric rate- locked, save) rent a solar-electric system (www.NewEnglandSun.com) for your home if you cannot buy a system;

13) $(4000, save) get a solar hot water heater (www.eere.energy.gov/[...] fastest payback of all renewables;

14) $(10,000, save) replace drafty windows, if you can. If you cannot, use plastic ($10) or close the curtains at night ($0) during the winter; and

15) $(15,000, save) trade in the SUV for a car or even a hybrid vehicle, if you need a car- buy used to save money.

Start out with something small and try bigger items as you feel more and more comfortable with these changes.

There are many possibilities, and they may seem overwhelming. Some ideas are more effective than others: #1 will work if your house is shaded.... but it depends on what you are willing to do. Start with the smaller items, and as you see how it works for you, move to larger items. My family has done all of it (#3 is happening now, and the veggies are much fresher, #11 will happen when I can find some in my area, and #12 starts in 2008). In doing all of these things, our electric bill is only 200-400 kWh/month, and our carbon footprint is less than half of the average American's use.

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