Qinghai-Tibet Plateau
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Qinghai-Tibet Plateau

Update: Jan. 7th, 2013

Qinghai-Tibet Plateau

Brief Introduction of Qinghai-Tibet Plateau

Qinghai-Tibet Plateau is the largest plateau in China and the highest plateau above the sea level. It covers Tibet Autonomous Region, Qinghai Province, western Sichuan Province, southern Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, and parts of Gansu Province and Yunnan Province. It covers a total area of 2.57 million square kilometers with an average altitude of 4000 to 5000 meters. Qinghai-Tibet Plateau takes about 26.8 percent of the total land area of China.

Qinghai-Tibet Plateau is even praised as the Third Pole in the World and Roof of the World for its high elevation. Besides, Qinghai-Tibet Plateau is also the source area of numerous large rivers in Asia. The average elevation of Qinghai-Tibet Plateau ranks first among the high plateaus above the sea level. It stretches 31 longitudes from the Pamirs Plateau in the west to the Hengduan Mountains in the east. Qinghai-Tibet Plateau is about 2945 kilometers long from the west to the east.

Natural Resources and Reserves on Qinghai-Tibet Plateau

Qinghai-Tibet Plateau is quite noted for its special natural landscapes and folk customs. For the protection of the natural resources on Tibet Plateau, a series of natural reserves were established on Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. The Qiangtang Natural Reserve, located in the alpine area in Northern Tibet, is one of the largest natural reserves above the sea level with an area of 0.247 million square kilometers. The Shenzha Natural Reserve and Mt. Everest Natural Reserve also cover an area around 30,000 to 40,000 square kilometers respectively.

Not only the high-cold steppe and meadow ecosystem was formed on Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, but also the desert, wetland and forests type natural ecosystem were also formed. Rich wild animal and plants resources are stored in the special ecological system. Hence, different types of natural reserves were established for the protection of different targets. The Medog Natural Reserve in Nyingchi was established for the protection of the tropical monsoon forests while the Baji Natural Reserve was established for the protection of the giant cypress trees.

It is recorded that there are about 210 species of wild mammal animals inhabited on Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, including the precious Tibetan antelope, wild yak, Tibetan kiang, snow leopard, sika deer etc. There are more than 12,000 species of vascular plants growing on Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, including the giant cypress tree, spinulose tree fern, taxus chinensis, terminallia myriocarpa etc. It should also be noted that various precious species of azalea flowers could also be found on Tibet Plateau.

Climate on Qinghai-Tibet Plateau

The climate on Qinghai-Tibet Plateau is characterized by low temperature, thin air and strong solar radiation. There are some differences between the climates in different regions on Qinghai-Tibet Plateau due to the complicated topography. Hence, tourists are always required to make a careful preparation in advance so as to get better adaptation to the local environment and climate.

Actually, Qinghai-Tibet Plateau played important role in the global climate change. The meteorologists hold that the plateau area with high elevation is pretty sensitive in the global warming. The rising of the snowline and shrinking of the glaciers here attract a lot of international attention for Qinghai-Tibet Plateau is the origin of a series of international rivers.

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