Lake Surface Water Temperature Change Over the Tibetan Plateau From 2001 to 2015

A Sensitive Indicator of the Warming Climate

W. Wan, L. Zhao, H. Xie, B. Liu, H. Li, Ying Cui, Y. Ma, Y. Hong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

The Tibetan Plateau (TP) plays a significant role in the Earth's climate system. This letter examines the nighttime lake surface water temperature (LSWT) of 374 lakes (≥10 km 2 each) over the TP for the past 15 years (2001–2015). An overall warming trend (0.037 °C/year) is found and it is consistent with the warming air temperature (0.036 °C/year) over the TP, with the vast majority of the lakes (70%, with 28% of which are significant) showing warming (0.076 °C/year) and the rest (30%, with 37% of which are significant) showing cooling (−0.053 °C/year). This astonishing contrast was controlled by different water sources recharging these lakes: (1) warming LSWT due to increased precipitation (central and northern TP) or permafrost degradation (northwestern TP) and (2) cooling LSWT due to increased glacier meltwater (southwestern TP), revealing LSWT a sensitive indicator to climate change that triggered different regional responses in precipitation, permafrost, and glacier changes over the TP. This study helps improve our understanding of high-altitude lakes and their changing mechanisms under the warming climate.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11,177-11,186
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Volume45
Issue number20
DOIs
StatePublished - 28 Oct 2018

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water temperature
surface water
lakes
lake water
surface temperature
climate
plateaus
warming
plateau
heating
permafrost
lake
glaciers
glacier
cooling
recharging
indicator
meltwater
climate change
high altitude

Cite this

Wan, W. ; Zhao, L. ; Xie, H. ; Liu, B. ; Li, H. ; Cui, Ying ; Ma, Y. ; Hong, Y. / Lake Surface Water Temperature Change Over the Tibetan Plateau From 2001 to 2015 : A Sensitive Indicator of the Warming Climate. In: Geophysical Research Letters. 2018 ; Vol. 45, No. 20. pp. 11,177-11,186.
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abstract = "The Tibetan Plateau (TP) plays a significant role in the Earth's climate system. This letter examines the nighttime lake surface water temperature (LSWT) of 374 lakes (≥10 km 2 each) over the TP for the past 15 years (2001–2015). An overall warming trend (0.037 °C/year) is found and it is consistent with the warming air temperature (0.036 °C/year) over the TP, with the vast majority of the lakes (70{\%}, with 28{\%} of which are significant) showing warming (0.076 °C/year) and the rest (30{\%}, with 37{\%} of which are significant) showing cooling (−0.053 °C/year). This astonishing contrast was controlled by different water sources recharging these lakes: (1) warming LSWT due to increased precipitation (central and northern TP) or permafrost degradation (northwestern TP) and (2) cooling LSWT due to increased glacier meltwater (southwestern TP), revealing LSWT a sensitive indicator to climate change that triggered different regional responses in precipitation, permafrost, and glacier changes over the TP. This study helps improve our understanding of high-altitude lakes and their changing mechanisms under the warming climate.",
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Lake Surface Water Temperature Change Over the Tibetan Plateau From 2001 to 2015 : A Sensitive Indicator of the Warming Climate. / Wan, W.; Zhao, L.; Xie, H.; Liu, B.; Li, H.; Cui, Ying; Ma, Y.; Hong, Y.

In: Geophysical Research Letters, Vol. 45, No. 20, 28.10.2018, p. 11,177-11,186.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

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