The Wider Image: The thaw of the Third Pole: China's glaciers in retreat
Qin Xiang director of the Qilian Shan Station of Glaciology and Ecologic Environment, part of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and Jin Zizhen, 27, a PhD student in glacial hydrology, place a measuring pole in the ice near the edge of the Laohugou No. 12 glacier in the Qilian mountains, Subei Mongol Autonomous County in Gansu province, China September 26, 2020. The 20-square kilometre glacier is criss-crossed by rivulets of water down its craggy, grit-blown surface. It has shrunk by about 7% since measurements began, with melting accelerating at a record pace in recent years, scientists say. Equally alarming is the loss of thickness, with about 13 metres (42 feet) of ice disappearing as temperatures rise, said Qin. "The speed that this glacier has been shrinking is really shocking." REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins SEARCH "RAWLINS GLACIER" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES.