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  Nagqu Prefecture  

The Nagqu Prefecture lies in the northern part of Southwest China's Tibet autonomous region. It neighbors Chamdo in the east, Ngari in the west, Lhasa, Nyingchi, and Xigaze in the south, and Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region and Qinghai province in the north. The Tanggula, Nyainqentanglha and Kangdese mountains, and the snow-capped Dargo Mountain in the west and the Burgyi Mountain in the east embrace the prefecture, guarding the treasure land like two ferocious lions.

Nagqu Prefecture has a population of over 70,000 people, with Tibetans making up the majority. It exercises jurisdiction over 10 counties and the Shuanghu Special Administrative Zone. The 10 counties include Nagqu, Amdo, Nyainrong, Biru, Jiali, Baqen, Sog, Pangkog, Xainza, and Nyima.

The Nagqu Prefectural Administration is located in Nagqu Town, a political, economic, cultural, and trading center as well as a transport hub of the autonomous region. Nagqu Town is also the collection and reshipment center for the region's animal products, mineral ores, and agricultural and forestry products.

Covering an area of some 400,000 square kilometers, Nagqu is generally referred to as Changtang; the area is high in the west and low in the east, with an average elevation of over 4,500 meters. The vast region of the central west is basically flat but dotted with hills and numerous lakes, and is crisscrossed by rivers.

There are high mountains surrounding the river valleys in the east, which is the farming region of northern Tibet. This area lies at an elevation of from 3,500 to 4,500 meters and also has forest resources and bush pasture, as well as a climate that is more equitable than that in the central west.

Nagqu falls within the sub-frigid zone and experiences extreme cold, a scarcity of oxygen, dry air, and storms. There are no absolutely frost-free periods. Nagqu has an annual average temperature ranging from -0.9℃ to -3.3℃, an annual relative humidity of 48-51 percent, an annual precipitation of 380 mm, and an annual sunshine hour range of 2,852.6-2,881.7 hours. From November to March the air is dry, the temperature is low, and the area is exposed to violent sandstorms. From May to September, Nagqu is warm and enjoys good weather.

The annual growing season lasts for 100 days, and during this period the area receives 80 percent of its annual precipitation. At this time the grasslands are emerald and grazed by flocks of sheep.

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