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Chinese researchers report on October 26, 2011 that permafrost and glacier melt recorded in the Qinghai-Tibet plateau region are already resulting in grassland and wetland erosion, which is raising concerns for water shortages that could dry up rivers and lead to more widespread desertification.

The US Geological Survey reports on October 25, 2011 that the immense Yukon River Basin in northwestern Canada and central Alaska, USA, is discharging 32 times more toxic mercury into the environment than five other comparably-sized river systems, likely caused by accelerated permafrost melt due to climate change.

Wishing to raise awareness about the effects of global warming, prominent Chinese sculptor Yuan Xikun as reported on October 24, 2011 submerges a small award-winning crystal sculpture of polar bears into the sea near the Maldives as a symbolic warning of the need for prompt human action to save the endangered animals and all life.