The dynamic response of lakes in the Tuohepingco Basin of the Tibetan Plateau to climate change
- 288 Downloads
The Tibetan Plateau (TP) is particularly sensitive to the influences of climate change. As indicators of climate change, lakes on the TP play a key role in the Earth’s climatic system. Lake Yazi (LY), Lake Tuohepingco (LT) and Lake Changtiao (LC) in the Tuohepingco Basin are three inland lakes on the plateau. The extents of LY, LT and LC were obtained using object-based image analysis for remote sensing and 22 images from Landsat satellites (from September to December between 1972 and 2015). Inter-annual changes in the extent of LY, LT and LC were then analyzed. The results show that the total area of the three lakes underwent a change from shrinkage to expansion between 1972 and 2015. In general, there was a trend toward shrinkage during 1972–1999, distinct expansion during 2000–2007 and slight expansion during 2008–2015. Moreover, we found that 14 other lakes have also expanded dramatically since 2000. Lakes at 30°N and 35°N (LY, LT and LC are also located in this region) exhibited the same dramatic period of expansion between 2000 and 2005. In other words, 2000 appears to be a critical transition point for changes in lake size on the TP. Lakes at the same latitudes in the Tibetan Plateau interior may have a similar period of dramatic expansion after 2000. The warming-triggered deglaciation or permafrost degradation, increased precipitation and decreased evapotranspiration may be the influencing factors of lake expansion in the Tuohepingco Basin. Temperature showed relatively higher correlation with lake extent, while precipitation and evaporation were slightly correlated with lake area. Given the importance of wetlands to human society, these are no trivial issues, and we now need accelerated research based on long-term and continuous remote sensing.
KeywordsTibetan Plateau Tuohepingco Basin Climate change Lake expansion Dramatic expansion period
The authors would like to thank Dr Yaning Chen, Xinjiang Institute of Ecology and Geography, Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), Dr Yanjun Shen, Center for Agricultural Resources Research, CAS, and Dr Zhaofeng Wang, Shicheng Li and Lanhui Li, Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS, for their thoughtful suggestions on the manuscript. This study was financially supported by the Key Foundation Project of Basic Work of the Ministry of Science and Technology of China (Grant 2012FY111400), National Key Technologies R&D Program (Grant 2013BAC04B02) and National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grants 41671104, 41271123).
Z. Z., L. L. and Y. Z. conceived and designed the experiments; L. L. and F. L. contributed to the ideas; Z. Z. contributed to the data analysis, interpretation and manuscript writing; Z. Z. performed the experiments; and W. Q. analyzed the data.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare no conflict of interest.
- Allen RG, Pereira LS, Raes D, Smith M (1998) Crop evapotranspiration—Guidelines for computing crop water requirements—FAO irrigation and drainage paper 56. Food and agriculture organization of the United Nations, RomeGoogle Scholar
- Guo WQ, Wei JF, Liu SY, Li P, Ding LF (2014) The second glacier inventory dataset of interior basins of Tibetan Plateau, China (in Chinese). Cold and Arid Regions Science Data Center at Lanzhou. doi: 10.3972/glacier.003.2013.db. Accessed 17 Sep 2014
- IPCC (2014) Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The contribution to the IPCC’s fifth assessment report. Cambridge University Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
- Jiang QG, Li YH, Xing Y, Li XY, Cui HQ (2012) Study on RS investigation of wetlands and eco-environmental and geological effect on the Tibetan Plateau (in Chinese). The Geological Publishing House, BeijingGoogle Scholar
- Li L, Yang XH, Yangzong Z, Zhao W, Zhuoma L (2013) Change of the lakes in the Qiangtang Nature Reserve (in Chinese). Arid Zone Research 30(3):419–423Google Scholar
- Liu XD, Chen BD (2000) Climatic warming in the Tibetan Plateau during recent decades. Int J Climatol 20:1729–1742. doi: 10.1002/1097-0088(20001130)20:14<1729:aid-joc556>3.0.co;2-y CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Niu Z, Zhang H, Wang X, Yao W, Zhou D, Zhao K, Zhao H, Li N, Huang H, Li C, Yang J, Liu C, Liu S, Wang L, Li Z, Yang Z, Qiao F, Zheng Y, Chen Y, Sheng Y, Gao X, Zhu W, Wang W, Wang H, Weng Y, Zhuang D, Liu J, Luo Z, Cheng X, Guo Z, Gong P (2012) Mapping wetland changes in China between 1978 and 2008. Chin Sci Bull 57:2813–2823. doi: 10.1007/s11434-012-5093-3 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Wang SM, Dou HS (1998) Annals of lakes in China (in Chinese). Science Press, BeijingGoogle Scholar
- Wu LZ, Li XY (2004) Dataset of the first glacier inventory in China (in Chinese). Cold and Arid Regions Science Data Center at Lanzhou. doi: 10.3972/westdc.011.2013.db. Accessed 31 Dec 2004
- Xie H (2007) The evapotranspiration and its response to climate change on the Tibetan Plateau (1970–2010) (in Chinese). Dissertation, Lanzhou UniversityGoogle Scholar
- Yanai MH, Li CF, Song ZS (1992) Seasonal heating of the Tibetan Plateau and its effects on the evolution of the Asian Summer Monsoon. J Meteorol Soc Jpn 70:319–351Google Scholar
- Yao T, Thompson LG, Yang W, Yu W, Gao Y, Guo X, Yang X, Duan K, Zhao H, Xu B, Pu J, Lu A, Xiang Y, Kattel DB, Joswiak D (2012b) Different glacier status with atmospheric circulations in the Tibetan Plateau and surroundings. Nature Climate Change 2:663–667. doi: 10.1038/nclimate1580 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Zhang YL, Li BY, Zheng D (2014c) Datasets of the boundary and area of the Tibetan Plateau. Global Change Research Data Publishing and Repository. http://www.geodoi.ac.cn/WebEn/doi.aspx?doi=10.3974/geodb.2014.01.12.v1. Accessed 15 June 2014