May 9,2017--“Global Warming has made the Qinghai-Tibet plateau warmer and moister in recent years. The ever-growing monsoon from the Indian Ocean has contributed to the expansion of Qinghai Lake by 108.18 square kilometers from 2007 to 2016, reaching its maximum in 17 years,” said Liu Baokang, a senior engineer at Qinghai Institute of Meteorological Science in an interview on May 7, 2017.
Located on Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, Qinghai Lake, the largest inland salt lake in China, plays a significant role in protecting the ecological security of the northeastern Plateau. Qinghai Lake serves as a barrier to the desertification from the west to the east. The Lake’s eco-environmental features and evolution is a mirror of the changing ecology of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau.
The continuous enlargement of the lake surface is attributed mainly to the increase of the regional rainfall.
“Statistics from Qinghai Provincial Climate Research Center shows that the average rainfall in Qinghai Province stands at 40.9mm since this March, an increase of 60 percent over ordinary years and the second highest since 1961. The place with the most rainfall is near the Qinghai Lake, with a highest record of 47.8mm since 1961,” said Dai Sheng, a senior engineer at the Qinghai Provincial Climate Research Center. It is uncommon to experience this kind of precipitation process.Since the start of the 21st century, the Qinghai-Tibet plateau has been witnessing increased warmth and moisture due to the climate change.
“The rising rainfall leads to the increase of water flowing into the Lake,” said Liu Baokang. In late August to early September in 2016, the rainfall increased in the Buha River Basin, one of the major headwaters of Qinghai Lake. As a result, the Lake surfaace has reached its maximum since 2001.
Qinghai Provincial Climate Research Center predicts that Qinghai Lake will continue to expand thanks to the rising temperatures and rainfalls around the Lake in May.
By: Ma Yangyang Liu Qiang