From: Catherine Brahic, NewScientist
Published June 15, 2009 10:10 AM

Silk Road threatened by melting glaciers

The Chinese gateway to the ancient Silk Road is being flooded — and the culprit, researchers say, is climate change. Melting glaciers sitting above the Hexi corridor in Gansu province, once an important trading and military route into Central Asia, are fuelling dramatic regional floods.

The finding illustrates a major problem for the coming century: around the world, arid regions that sit next to glaciers will suffer a spate of floods, then dry up completely when the glaciers melt away.

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Once the eastern gateway to the Silk road, the Hexi corridor is sandwiched between the Qilian mountains to the southwest, and lower mountains bordering the Gobi desert to the northeast.

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