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4th February 2023 (5 Topics)

Amazon deforestation heating Tibet


According to a new report, Deforestation in the Amazon rainforest can directly influence temperatures in Tibet, which is more than 15,000 kilometres away from the tropical biome.

About the report:

  • The report has highlighted that Climate tipping elements are remotely correlated and there are no borders in the fight against climate change.
  • Countries must cooperate and take objective actions in cooperation toward the international goal,

Tipping points are thresholds that, if crossed, cause significant changes in a specific region of the Earth system that may be irreversible.

  • The Amazon rainforest is one such tipping point. Even modest, incremental changes in this biome might eventually result in massive, abrupt and permanent changes to the planet.
  • Contemporary global discussions suggest that the climate tipping point attainment could occur with a 1-2°C temperature rise.
  • Consequently, the Paris Agreement calls for limiting warming to below 2°C and below 1.5°C as a long-term goal.
  • This climate network approach was used to analyse the global impacts of a prominent tipping element and concluded that the harsh and warmer temperatures in the Amazon correlated with rising temperatures in Tibet and the West Antarctic ice sheet.
  • The researchers succeeded in detecting a pronounced propagation pathway over more than 20,000 kilometres.
  • It has been observed that the general trajectory could be plotted from southern Africa through the Arabian Peninsula, then across to Tibet.

Tibet and its geographic significance:

  • Tibetan Plateau is an important physical feature, whose influence is felt not only in the Indian Subcontinent but also on the entire Asian continent.
  • It is an interment plateau surrounded by the Great Himalayas to the south, Kunlun ranges to the North-West, Altyn Tagh to the north and Nan Shan to the northeast.
  • Tibetan Plateau is called the “Third Pole of the World” because it has the largest reserves of fresh water in frozen ice form, outside the two poles.
  • It is also being heated at twice the rate due to global warming, just like the two poles of the world.
  • It is the highest plateau in the world and its height is still growing at a slow, but perceptible rate.
  • This is because the Indian plate is continuously moving towards the Eurasian plate (at a rate of about 4-5 cm/year) and this is resulting in the Indian plate being pushed under the Eurasian plate.
  • This is the reason why the continental crust in the Tibetan Plateau is the thickest and hence it is called the “Roof of the World”.
  • The plateau is home to several glaciers and lakes – brackish water lakes in the north and freshwater lakes in the south.
  • Tibetan Plateau is thus the lifeline of Asia because it is the source of several rivers like the Indus and Satluj of the Indus river water system, Arun, Ghaghra and Gandak of the Ganges river water system, Manas and Brahmaputra of the Brahmaputra river water system, Yellow River, Yangtze, Mekong and Salween Rivers.
  • It also plays a crucial role in the Indian Monsoons, which are the lifeline of several rivers in Peninsular India.

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