The Chinese Academy of Sciences has released new research findings that the source of the Yangtze River is in trouble, which could have a "negative impact" on the future of the Yangtze and other rivers.
Of course, many people may think that the Yangtze River changes in 2022 are very polarized, what "negative impact" is there?
This research project is indeed a "long-term" study, which means that its impact is likely to continue to grow as well. Here's what's going on, and here's how.
The "source" of the Yangtze River - the Tibetan Plateau
The Qinghai-Tibet Plateau is a plateau in the interior of Asia and is the largest in China and the highest in the world. But then again, the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau is not only the "source" of the Yangtze River, but also the source of large rivers such as the Yellow River, the Lancang River, and the Nujiang River. For the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, the most familiar possibility is the glaciers of the plateau.
However, in recent years, as global warming has continued to develop, the Tibetan plateau has warmed very strongly. By monitoring the temperature in the source area of the Yangtze River, it is getting warmer as its average temperature is 1.4 degrees higher than the average temperature of the previous 40 years or so, in the middle of the last 10 years or so.
And it can also be seen by the surface temperature change in China, that is, the annual average surface temperature in China warmed at a rate of 0.26°C/decade during the period 1951-2021. in 2021, the national average annual surface maximum temperature was 1.01°C higher than the normal value, tied with 2007 as the highest since 1951.
So, China as a whole is warming up, and the warming of the Tibetan Plateau is already the trend. Then this is well explained, and after the warming of the Tibetan Plateau, accelerated glacial melting has occurred.
After the ice melts, the direct formation of the glacial lake will also increase in size, creating the potential for "ice floods" in downstream areas. And in 2021, the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau lakes because of the massive melting of ice, a dramatic increase in the area, India has been the first taste of bitterness, a hydroelectric dam under construction in the southern foothills of the Himalayas and the Duli Ganges River in North Akhand, India.
As a result of the "chain effect" of glacier collapse after the warming of the Tibetan plateau, the mudslide disaster was triggered and the hydroelectric dam was eventually washed away.
According to statistics, 218 casualties were caused, and the economic damage caused was incalculable. Therefore, the changes in the Tibetan Plateau do have a greater impact. However, this research result released by the Chinese Academy of Sciences once again illustrates a major shift in the "source" of the Yangtze River.
Chinese Academy of Sciences: Yangtze River "source" of the problem
The problem this time is not dominated by the warming and the problems caused by melting glaciers, as everyone says, but originates from the impact of volcanoes.
Speaking of volcanoes, in 2022 many people may first think of the "Tonga volcano", this volcano does erupt very strong, initially many people thought we would see the so-called "year without summer", but did not expect the summer heat out of the "extreme", many areas have set the highest temperature ever, more than 40 degrees of temperature is very common.
So, the impact of volcanoes on climate does exist. Mainly, after a volcanic eruption, it releases a lot of carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide and other substances.
The study, released by the Chinese Academy of Sciences, points out the impact of volcanic eruptions on the "source" of the Yangtze River. How does it affect?
When a tropical volcano erupts, it releases atmospheric pollutants - high sulfur gases - into our atmosphere, which then "chemically react" with our atmosphere, converting them into sulfate aerosols and spreading them around the world.
After spreading, sulfate aerosols will act like "sunshades" to block incoming sunlight, which will have a significant impact on global hydroclimate. For the Tibetan Plateau, this will also have an impact.
And this effect is given by analyzing data on the response of summer rainfall to large tropical volcanic eruptions on the Tibetan Plateau over the last millennium. In the first summer after a tropical volcanic eruption, a significant change in rainfall occurs on the Tibetan Plateau. In the southern region, the amount of rainfall in summer decreases significantly.
Therefore, the Yangtze River "source" problem, it will be due to tropical volcanic eruptions after the surface temperature decreased atmospheric precipitation, which is not good for the Yangtze River, and will lead to changes in the westerly wind belt, the impact is very significant.
Therefore, many people may not have thought that the climate effects caused by the eruption of tropical volcanoes could affect the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau.
This is not really a surprise if to those who understand climate knowledge, because the Earth's climate system itself is a whole, any regional changes, may bring reverse effects, which is completely normal.
2022 Yangtze River drought has something to do with it?
Indeed, after reading this study, it seems we see that the Yangtze 2022 drought seems to have something to do with it too? In fact, if you want to say that there is a relationship, there is more or less a relationship, after all, the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau is the "source" of the Yangtze River.
However, it is important to note that the 2022 drought as a whole is still the most relevant to climate change.
In terms of surface awareness, that is, the subtropical high pressure in the Pacific Northwest this year is very strong, resulting in a large area of the country is shrouded by high pressure, the formation of water vapor cloud scarcity.
So, even if we want artificial rainfall, this opportunity is not available. Then it will only lead to the continued development of drought under high temperature. The second thing is that global warming has triggered abnormal fluctuations in atmospheric circulation, which has triggered uneven distribution of rain.
So, the tropical volcanic eruption, although it affects the rain problem on the Tibetan Plateau, does the Yangtze River drought have anything to do with it? If so, it is very little.
This also shows that it is possible to change the problem of drought in the Yangtze River by coming to the root of the problem of climate change. Therefore, climate change cannot continue like this, and if it continues like this, the climate problems we face in the future will be even more severe. This is not an alarmist statement.
In 2022, Science magazine also reissued the "climate tipping point" crisis issue, in which the world is on the brink of five dangerous tipping points, including the melting of the Greenland ice cap, the collapse of a key North Atlantic current, the sudden melting of carbon-rich permafrost, the collapse of the Labrador Sea convection, and the mass die-off of tropical coral reefs.
Therefore, human beings should try their best to prevent crossing the tipping point. Once the tipping point of climate is breached, it will be really late if we want to change the state of climate.
As we said the Paris Agreement 1.5 degree climate tipping point, once it is exceeded, we may not have a chance to reverse it and then the climate extremes may become more pronounced.
So, increasing climate maintenance is the key, so that whether volcanoes have an impact on the Tibetan plateau, or climate has an impact on the Tibetan plateau, we can at least reduce part of the impact, and thus reduce the impact on their own, climate change leaves little time for humans, we should be is only right.