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Clouds roll in over the Hailuogou glacier. Even at a relatively low altitudes of between 3,200-4,800 meters above sea level, the weather can change in a matter of minutes. As a result of rising temperatures on the Tibetan Plateau, the Hailuogou glacier has retreated over 2 km during the 20th century alone. Since the Little Ice Age, studies have revealed that the total monsoonal glacier coverage in the southeast of the Tibetan Plateau has decreased by as much as 30 percent, causing alarm in scientific circles.

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