February 5, 2023

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The majesty of the Heavenly Mountains in China as seen from space

The word Tian Shan in Chinese means Heavenly Mountains. We are talking about one of the largest mountain ranges in the world, stretching about 2,500 km across Central Asia, along the border between Kyrgyzstan and China. Glaciers cover nearly 13,000 square kilometers of the foothills of the Tian Shan and are an important source of water for nearby farmers and residents. Meltwater from glaciers in the range used surface and groundwater in northwestern China, as well as Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Uzbekistan. The source of life, unfortunately, is inexhaustible.

This massive ecosystem houses some of the most exciting and intriguing places on the continent, such as the magnificent Upside Down forest Created by the earthquake and the Singing dunes. It is nowa land NASA Observatory Who posted a photo taken from the International Space Station by a member of the Expedition 66 crew.

“The International Space Station Program supports the laboratory as part of the International Space Station National Laboratory to help astronauts take pictures of Earth that will be of great value to scientists and the public, and to make those images freely available on the Internet,” explains Emily. Cassidy from NASA.

The image shows the hills of the central part of the range, in Xinjiang, China, located between the Taklamakan Desert and Lake Issyk Kul. The mountains of the chain, which produce 85% of China’s cotton, are covered in snow and ice.

A recent study of water supplies in northwest China, based on data from NASA’s Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment, estimated that increased demand has helped reduce total water storage in the region, threatening sustainable melt, with glacier extent in the Tian Shan declining by 18 percent between 1961 and 2012. And while the increased summer melt may be a short-term boon for farmers, in the long term, the decreasing size of glaciers will continue to deplete an already diminishing water supply.”

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