Thu, August 09, 2012
Technology > Science

Tian Shan No.1 Glacier melting

2012-08-09 10:33:46 GMT2012-08-09 18:33:46(Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

Photo taken on Aug. 7, 2012 shows the melting east branch of the Tian Shan No.1 Glacier in northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. (Photo/Xinhua)

Photo taken on Aug. 7, 2012 shows the melting east branch of the Tian Shan No.1 Glacier in northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. (Photo/Xinhua)

Photo taken on Aug. 7, 2012 shows the melting east branch of the Tian Shan No.1 Glacier in northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. (Photo/Xinhua)

Photo taken on Aug. 7, 2012 shows the melting east branch of the Tian Shan No.1 Glacier in northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. (Photo/Xinhua)

Photo taken on Aug. 7, 2012 shows the melting east branch of the Tian Shan No.1 Glacier in northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. (Photo/Xinhua)

Photo taken on Aug. 7, 2012 shows the melting east branch of the Tian Shan No.1 Glacier in northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. (Photo/Xinhua)

Located within the Tianshan Mountains 120 kilometers southwest of Urumqi, the Tian Shan No.1 Glacier is the closest glacier to an urban community in the world.

Numbers from the Chinese Academy of Sciences indicate that the rate of the glacier's recession grows every year under increasing global temperatures. Over the four decades between 1962 and 2006, the glacier's surface area had shrunk by 14 percent, from 1.95 to 1.68 square kilometers, while its thickness had gone down by 15 meters.

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