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Posted Sat Jan 17 2009: from Reuters:
Tibetan glacial shrink to cut water supply by 2050
Nearly 2 billion people in Asia, from coastal city dwellers to yak-herding nomads, will begin suffering water shortages in coming decades as global warming shrinks glaciers on the Tibetan Plateau, experts said. The plateau has more than 45,000 glaciers that build up during the snowy season and then drain to the major rivers in Asia, including the Yangtze, Yellow, Brahmanputra and Mekong. Temperatures in the plateau, which some scientists call the "Third Pole" for its massive glacial ice sheets, are rising twice as fast as other parts of the world, said Lonnie Thompson, a glaciologist at Ohio State University, who has collected ice cores from glaciers around the world for decades. As glaciers melt at faster rates from the higher temperatures, a false sense of security about water supplies has developed across Asia, Thompson said on Friday. If melting continues at current levels, two-thirds of the plateau's glaciers will likely be gone by 2050, he said at a meeting on climate change at the Asia Society in Manhattan.
[Read more stories about: global warming, melting glaciers, water issues]

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Heartless Phil says: "By 2050 these 2 billion will already be in trouble in terms of foot shortages and illness caused from pollution, contamination, etc."

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'Doc Jim says:
The Third Pole is trying awful hard to be Number One.

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