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Drought and Fires XVIII: Gansu Province, China, 2007

Drought and Fires XVIII: Gansu Province, China, 2007

Western China: photographed in June-July 2007.

The sign in the following image stands where there was a lake as recently as 50 years ago.  It reads “Protecting the Environment is Everybody’s Responsibility.”  Images of agriculture are from the Hexi corridor, which stretches for 1,000 kilometers and produces wheat for Gansu province (population 26 million).

Climate change impacts on China’s water supply are compounded by disappearing glaciers and changes in rain patterns. According to Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), “melting of glaciers could seriously affect half a billion people in the Himalaya- Hindu-Kush region and a quarter of a billion people in China who depend on glacial melt for their water supplies…  As glaciers melt, river runoff will initially increase in winter or spring but eventually will decrease as a result of loss of ice resources.  (IPCC, AR4 WGII, Chap. 10, p.483).  Additionally, “more frequent and prolonged droughts as a consequence of climate change and other anthropogenic factors together will result in the increasing trends of desertification in Asia”  (IPCC, AR4 WGII, Chap. 10, p.486).

Drought and Fires XIV: Gansu Province, China, 2007

Drought and Fires XIV: Gansu Province, China, 2007

Drought and Fires XX: Gansu Province, China, 2007

Drought and Fires XX: Gansu Province, China, 2007

Drought and Fires XXV: Qinghai Province, China, 2007

Drought and Fires XXV: Qinghai Province, China, 2007

Drought and Fires XXI: Qinghai Province, China, 2007

Drought and Fires XIII: Gansu Province, China, 2007