BEIJING, July 11 (Xinhua) -- A workshop with 40 scientists from all over the world opened in Beijing Thursday to enhance global efforts on the study of the Third Pole environmental changes.
The Third Pole is a high-altitude region covering the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau and surrounding areas. It stores more snow and glaciers than anywhere in the world after the North and South poles, and it is the headwaters of Asia's 10 major rivers, including the Yangtze, Yellow, Indus and Yarlung Zangbo.
Recent studies have found rapidly rising temperatures, accelerated glacier melting and imbalanced water storage in the region, affecting livelihoods of millions of people.
The topics of the workshop are mainly focused on water resources, ecosystems and human activities in the region. Attendees from Germany, Sweden, Nepal, the United States and other countries will share their observations, address local impacts and provide scientific advice to policy makers.
The two-day workshop was organized by the Third Pole Environment (TPE) program and the Pan-Third Pole Environment Change Study for a Green Silk Road (Pan-TPE), which were launched by the Chinese Academy of Sciences in 2009 and 2018, respectively.
Global efforts are required to study and find solutions to combat effects of the environmental changes, said Yao Tandong, chair of the TPE program.
"The region is vulnerable to global environmental changes. What we discuss will be crucial not only to the scientific community but also society as a whole," Yao said.