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The loud crack rang out from the fog above the Baishui No. 1 Glacier as a stone shard careened down the ice, flying past Chen Yanjun as he operated a GPS device. More projectiles were tumbling down the hulk of ice that scientists say is one of the world's fastest melting glaciers.Chen hiked away and onto a barren landscape once buried beneath the glacier. Now there is exposed rock littered with oxygen tanks discarded by tourists visiting the 4,570-meter-high blanket of ice in southern China.The glacier has lost 60 percent of its mass and shrunk 250 meters since 1982, according to a 2018 report in the Journal of Geophysical Research.Scientists found in 2015 that 82 percent of glaciers surveyed in China had retreated. They warned that the effects of glacier melting on water resources are gradually becoming "increasingly serious" for China.GPS tells them how much the bars, and thus the glacier, have moved. They also measure how much height the glacier has lost during the summer.A quarter of its ice has vanished since 1957 along with four of its 19 glaciers, researchers have found.To protect the glacier, authorities have limited the number of visitors to 10,000 a day and have banned hiking on the ice.
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