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Climate Change and Human Health in Tibet


Tibet glaciers some 200km (125 miles) west to Lhasa Tibet Autonomous Region November 25, 2009. Nearly 2 billion people in Asia, from coastal city dwellers to yak-herding nomads, will begin suffering water shortages in coming decades as global warming shrinks glaciers on the Tibetan Plateau, experts said. REUTERS/Nir Elias (CHINA RELIGION ENVIRONMENT) SOCIETY) - RTXR47V

As the glaciers melt and the air become warmer, some dwellers of the Tibetan plateau have started to hear an unfamiliar buzzing sound.

In 2009, residents in Lhasa reported mosquito bites for the first time, according to Tibet Center for Disease Control, which produced a report in 2013 with the World Health Organization and China Center of Disease Control.

The report said that the mosquitoes found in Lhasa included “pure mosquitoes” and “hybrids”, some of which are responsible for carrying diseases such as Japanese encephalitis, meningitis, and urticaria.

Another report produced by researchers from China that was published in Environment Health, 2013 said that the heat contributes to health problems on the “Third Pole”. “Nearly 40 percent [of residents in Lhasa] reported having experienced heat-related symptoms.”

The World Health Organization said on Tuesday that climate change agreement is critical to public health, warning that the current change in climate will cause an additional 250,000 deaths per year by 2030.

Vector borne diseases were listed as a health risk in connection to global warming in the WHO report.

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