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Jan 11, 2011

Yangtze river

Yangtze River or Chang Jiang is the longest river in Asia, and the third longest in the world. It flows for 6300 km (3915 mi) from the glaciers on the Qinghai Tibet Plateau in southwest China to the east, central and east before it empties into the East China Sea at Shanghai. It is also one of the largest river by volume discharge in the world.

Yangtze River flows one-fifth of China's land area and river basin is home to one third of China's population. Along with the Yellow River, Yangtze River is the most important river in the culture, history and economy of China. Prosperous Yangtze River Delta to produce as much as 20% of Chinese GDP. The river is an important dividing line between the physical and culture of North and South China. Chinese living north of the Yangtze speak various dialects of Mandarin. Most of the provinces south of the river have Sinitic native language which can not be Mandarin-speakers.

Yangtze River flows through its own diverse ecosystems and habitats for several endemic and endangered species including the Yangtze River dolphin, Chinese alligator, and Yangtze sturgeon. For thousands of years, humans have used rivers for water, irrigation, sanitation, transport, industry, boundary-mark and war. Three Gorges Dam on the Yangtze River is the largest hydro-electric power plant in the world. In recent years, the river has suffered from industrial pollution, agricultural run-off, siltation, and loss of wetlands and lakes, are exacerbating the seasonal flooding. Some parts of the river is now protected as a nature reserve. A stretch of the Yangtze River flows through the canyon in the western Yunnan is a part of the Three Parallel Rivers of Yunnan Protected Areas, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.


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