Thinking Citizen Blog — Great Rivers of the World V: Yangtze
Thinking Citizen Blog — Wednesday is Climate Change, the Environment, and Sustainability Day
Today’s Topic: Great Rivers of the World V: Yangtze: longest river in the world in a single country
The Yangtze has many claims to fame: the longest river in Asia, the third longest in the world, the world’s biggest hydro-electric dam (the Three Gorges Dam). A third of China’s population lives within its drainage basin. Shanghai is on its southern estuary and along its course are Chongqing, Wuhan, and Nanjing. Its wildlife includes several endangered species (the Yangtze sturgeon, the Chinese alligator, and the narrow-ridged finless porpoise). Flooding of the Yangtze (most notably in 1931) has resulted in some of the deadliest natural disasters in human history. The river is navigable by ocean-going vessels up to 1000 miles from its mouth! Experts — please chime in. Correct, elaborate, elucidate.
IN CHINESE FOUR NAMES FOR UPSTREAM AND DOWNSTREAM SEGMENTS
1. The river originates in the Tibetan plateau and empties into the East China Sea. The highest source is 17,526 feet above sea level. The furthest source is 3900 miles from the sea.
2. The “Chiang Jiang” (“Long River”) refers to the lower 1792 miles from Yibin (at the confluence with the Min River) to Shanghai.
3. The “Jinsha” (“Gold Dust River”) is the section between Yibin upstream to Yushu in Qinghai (at the confluence with the Batang River). That would be a stretch of 1434 miles.
NB: The “Tong Tian” (“River passing through heaven”) — the 502 mile stretch from Yushu upstream to the confluence with the Dangqu River. The “Tuo Tuo” (“Tearful River”) is the “official headstream” of the river (222 miles) between the Dangqu and the Geladandong glaciers of the Tanggula Mountains of Qinghai province.
CITIES ALONG THE RIVER’S COURSE: Chongqing, Wuhan, Nanjing, Shanghai
1. Chongqing: one of four Chinese municipalities under the direct control of the central government. The others are Beijing, Shanghai, and Tianjin. The only one of the four that is inland. Technically, the most populous city in the world at 30 MM.
2. Wuhan: 11 million, capital of Hubei province, need I say more?
3. Nanjing: 8.5 MM, one of the four Ancient Capitals of China — the others being Beijing, Luoyang, and Xi’an.
NB: Shanghai: the economic capital of China, the world’s busiest container part, the most famous Chinese skyline. The New York City of China.
EXTINCTION AND HABITAT LOSS: SILTATION, OVERFISHING, POLLUTION
1. “In December 2006, the Yangtze river dolphin was declared functionally extinct after an extensive search of the river revealed no signs of the dolphin’s inhabitance.”
2. The Yunnan Lake newt “has not been seen since 1979 and is considered extinct.”
3. 65 species of fish are considered threatened.
Please share the coolest thing you learned in the last week related to climate change or the environment.
Or the coolest, most important thing you learned in your life related to climate change that the rest of us may have missed. Your favorite chart or table perhaps…
This is your chance to make some one’s day. Or to cement in your own mind something that you might otherwise forget. Or to think more deeply than otherwise about something dear to your heart.