Terra Daily, via Xinhua News Agency: Climate change linked to the contraction of wetlands at the source of China's two longest rivers, the Yangtze and the Yellow River, has reduced the volume of water flowing in the rivers, said Chinese scientists. Scientists from the
Analyzing aerial photos and satellite remote sensing figures, they found that the wetlands on the plateau have shrunk more than 10 percent over the past four decades. The wetlands at the origin of the
"The wetlands plays a key role in containing water and adjusting the water volume of the rivers," said Wang Xugen, a researcher with the
"The shrinking of the wetland on the plateau is closely connected with global warming," Wang said, adding that -- even though rainfall has increased in the region -- the contraction of the wetland has reduced the flow of the Yangtze and Yellow rivers.
Figures provided by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) weather station at the head of the Yangtze River showed that annual rainfall at the source of the
"But the increased rainfall didn't lead to more water flow in the rivers because the evaporation was so fast as a result of global warming," said Li Shijie, a researcher with the Nanjing Institute of Geography and Limnology under the CAS.
…The scientists called for more support for ecological research on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau and better protection of the unique and vulnerable environment.