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Melting glacier in China draws tourists, climate worries

In this Sept. 22, 2018 photo, glaciologist Wang Shijin walks across the Baishui Glacier No.1 on Jade Dragon Snow Mountain in the southern province of Yunnan in China. Scientists say the glacier is one of the fastest melting glaciers in the world due to climate change and its relative proximity to the Equator. It has lost 60 percent of its mass and shrunk 250 meters since 1982.

YULONGXUESHAN, China — Millions of people each year are drawn to Baishui Glacier No. 1 and its cold beauty in a region of Central Asia with the world’s third largest store of ice after Antarctica and Greenland.

Now however, they frequently encounter rocks littered with oxygen tanks discarded by tourists, as scientists warn Baishui’s dramatic melting is a sign of what’s to come across the region. The glacier has lost 60 per cent of its mass and shrunk 250 metres (820 feet) since 1982.

Scientists say 82 per cent of glaciers in China have retreated.

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