Cold Tibet quickly becoming warm, warns Buddhist monk

Dharamsala: The rate of warming at the Tibetan plateau - the third largest concentration of ice after the south and north poles - is two times greater than the global average, observed a top Buddhist monk who is also an environmentalist.

The river systems that flow from the Tibetan plateau go to countries like India, Pakistan, Myanmar, Cambodia and Vietnam.

Tibetan religious head and 17th Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorje told IANS in an interview: "Given that the rate of warming in the Tibetan plateau is at least two times greater than the global average, we know flooding and droughts are bound to worsen."

The 29-year-old Buddhist monk, the third most important Tibetan religious head who spent initial years of life in eastern Tibet, is upbeat about the United Nations Climate Change Conference.

"We are all looking forward to the Paris conference on climate change, which will begin at the end of this month to see if the world leaders will be willing to limit rising greenhouse gas emissions," he said.

Climate researchers of the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) say the Tibetan plateau is highly vulnerable to climate change. They have warned that over two-thirds of the glaciers could disappear by 2050.

The plateau has seen an increase in temperature of approximately 0.3 degrees Celsius every 10 years, says a researcher. In the past 50 years, the temperature has increased by 1.3 degrees Celsius, three times the global average, he said.

The Karmapa, who now resides in a monastery on the outskirts of this town, was born into a Tibetan nomad family. He loves to paint and pursues calligraphy and poetry.

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