Highlands of Tibet
The defined geographically highlands of Tibet and Qinghai-Tibet officially Gaoyuan Plateau (Chinese 青藏高原, Qing-Zang), also High Asia, including not only the entire habitat Tibetan-speaking nations, the smaller historical Tibet, or today's Independent Tibet area (AGT) of the People's Republic of China, but also the high mountains there delimiting Himalayas, Kunlun Shan, Qilian Shan, etc.
After the plateau was formed in early Miocene, it reached the present height about eight million years ago. Over time, weather erosion and digging valleys and formed walls and cliffs.
The Highlands, located about 4000 to 5500 meters above sea level, is bounded on the north by the deserts of the Tarim Basin and Qaidam Basin, the south and west of the mountains of Himalaya, Karakoram and Pamir. Although the highest peak is only 7010 meters high, the level, the highest plateau in the world. There are many salt lakes found in the canyons as the Tilicho Lake, which lies at 4290 meters, making it one of the highest lakes in the world, is also wide of the steppes, dense forests and deserts. These natural areas provide many animals - including risk - protection, such as yaks, Saiga Antelope, Asiatic black bears, sheep and kiangs.
Back to the highlands of Tibet, accordingly, are also the areas of Ladakh, Zanskar, Lahaul and Spiti, North Sikkim and large parts of Arunachal Pradesh in north India, as well as large parts of Bhutan and the north of Nepal. Within the People's Republic of China next to Tibet Autonomous Region are also the entire province of Qinghai, to the southwest of Gansu and marginal areas of the northwest of the province, the western Sichuan and northwestern Yunnan part of the highlands, while the Aksai Chin in the far west of the plateau in the Autonomous Region Xinjiang leads into the Pamirs.
Climate change since the mid-1970s led to an annual retreat of glaciers in the region around 130 km ². Forecasts predict that the glaciers could reduce by half to 2090.
The desertification is progressing ever since. In many parts of the Highlands is already having a degree of dehydration on the sparse vegetation: once good grassland desertification threatens to fall prey, in particular threatens the livelihoods of the nomadic population. This is very much seen as a consequence of climate change, although grazing and other problems also play a role.