The extent and rate of desertification is intensifying on the Tibetan Plateau according to a major new scientific assessment report released by the Chinese Academy of Science (CAS) in November – turning large swathes of precious grasslands and wetlands into desert.
The Tibetan Plateau is known as the world’s “third pole” because it holds the largest store of fresh water outside the Antarctic and Arctic. It is also the source of Asia’s major rivers, which support about 1.4 billion people downstream. The loss of grasslands, alpine meadows, wetlands and permafrost will have serious implications for environmental security in China and South Asia.[Source]