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Fourth echelon

Study: Central Asia's glaciers are quickly shrinking

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POTSDAM, Germany, Aug. 17 (UPI) -- The glaciers of Central Asia, which supply clean water to billions, are shrinking.

According to a new study, the ice sheets of Central Asia's largest mountain range, Tien Shan, have lost 27 percent of their mass and 18 percent of their surface area over the last half-century. A team of researchers from France and Germany suggest half the region's glaciers could be gone by 2050.

The health of Tien Shan's ice reserves are vital for Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, and parts of China, which rely on the glacier meltwater to supply their population with clean water.

Despite the region's importance, Tien Shan's glaciers haven't been closely monitored in recent decades. Researchers have attempted to account for the lack of information by reconstructing the evolution of Central Asian glaciers.


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