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Climate Change Driving Mongolians From Steppe to Cities

Report: Climate/Earth Changes
Landlocked between Siberia (Russia) and China, Mongolia is feeling the impact of global warming more than most regions in the world. Over the past 60 years the average temperature in Mongolia has risen by 3.4 degrees Fahrenheit (1.9 degrees Celsius). In contrast, the average temperature around the world has climbed only about 1 degree Fahrenheit (about 0.6 degree Celsius) in the past century. The warmer temperatures are drying up Mongolia's grasslands, which provide food for the country's livestock. Winters have seen the most severe warming, with warmer temperatures ultimately resulting in more destructive ice. "They'll get a moderate amount of snow, but then there's a warm day and the snow melts, then a cold day again and it freezes. This builds up two inches (five centimeters) of ice, and the livestock can't get to the food. When that occurs for a month or two, you have a large number of animals dying of starvation." "Summer temperatures are not changing overall, but we are seeing an increase in continuously hot days—nine, ten days straight with temperatures over 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit), which is something we haven't seen before." Hundreds of thousands of herders in recent years have abandoned their nomadic herding lives for an urban existence.

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