Thursday, 29 December 2011

The Remotest Place on the Earth

If we try looking for the most remote place on the earth, we will end up with conflicting informations from several sources. Some of potential contenders of remotest location includes the Sahara, the Amazon Basin, the Australian Outback, New Guinea, boreal Canada, Greenland, the Rub' al Khali, northern Siberia etc.

But, according to a study by researchers of the Global Environmental Monitoring Unit of the European Commission in 2009, the world's most remote place is in the Tibetan Plateau.

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Tibetan Resistance to Destructive Mining in Tibet?

Earlier this year, China announced that they would set up three major mineral bases in Tibet in the next five years, following discoveries of critically important/rich reserves worth of USD 100 billion in the Plateau. The bases would be set up in the Lhasa City, Lhokha and Chamdo Prefectures.

But this is just a part of the menacing story of China's full-scale exploitation of Tibet. In 2005, Chinese geologists from the China Geological Survey Bureau boasted the success of the seven-year-long geological survey that looked for mineral resources prospecting and environmental investigation on the Tibetan Plateau. The survey is believed to have found 5,000 mineral deposits on the Plateau. It estimated 30 million tons could be extracted from copper reserves; 40 million tons from lead and zinc reserves, and 1 billion tons from iron ore reserves. More specifically, geologists have discovered 600 new sites of copper, iron, lead and zinc ore deposits along the route of the railway line.

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

The Significance of the Third Pole: The Tibetan Plateau

A satellite's-eye-view of the Tibetan Plateau. Image from NASA's Terra satellite. Photo credit- NASA

Tibetan Plateau referred to as ‘The Third Pole’ and ‘The Water Tower of Asia’ reflects the significance of its snow capped mountains and its alpine grasslands. Since time immemorial, the plateau holds the Hindu Kush Himalayan Ice Sheet, considered as the largest ice mass outside the two poles. Its plateau contains more than 45,000 glaciers covering an area of 105,000 km2. Encompassing an area of about 2.5 million square kilometers, or about one-third the area of the continental United States, the Tibetan Plateau is the largest and highest region on Earth. With an average elevation of 4,500 meters above sea level, the Tibetan Plateau stretches for almost 3,000 kilometers from west to east and 1,500 kilometers from south to north. The Plateau is ringed by high mountains – the Himalayas to the south, the Karakorum in the west and the Kunlun across the north. One can just learn by looking at its map to figure out how the Tibetan Plateau dominates the geography of Asia.

Sunday, 11 December 2011

Mount Kailash (Gang-Rinpoche)

Picture of Mt. Kailash, Western Tibet © Ray Kreisel

Mount Kailash (Tibetan: Gang-Tise or Gang-Rinpoche) is a 22,028 feet (6,714m) high peak in one of the highest and most inhospitable parts of the Himalayan mountains of western Tibet. Situated at 31.070704° N latitude and 81.314664° E longitude, it is one of the most significant mountain-geographically and spiritually.

This great mass of black rock has a distinct diamond-like shape with four sheer facades matching the cardinal points of the compass and isolated location with no other mountains in the vicinity to obscure its grandeur.