Chinese scientists estimate water reserves of Qinghai-Tibet Plateau

BEIJING, Dec. 22 (Xinhua) — The total water reserves of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau are estimated to be more than 9 trillion cubic meters, the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) said on Tuesday.

Dubbed “Asia’s water tower,” the plateau and its surrounding mountains are the birthplace of more than 10 major rivers in Asia.

The area’s water reserves are mainly composed of glaciers, snow, frozen soil, lakes and rivers.

The ice reserves in the area amount to about 8,850 cubic kilometers, equivalent to about 8 trillion cubic meters of water, according to the Institute of Tibetan Plateau Research under the CAS.

The major lakes in the area hold about 815 billion cubic meters of water, while the rivers hold 656 billion cubic meters, according to initial estimates of a scientific research team.

The research is part of China’s second comprehensive scientific expedition to the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau.

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