Lake Surface Water Temperature Change over the Tibetan Plateau from 2001 to 2015A Sensitive Indicator of the Warming Climate
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.
MSU Digital Commons Citation
Wan, W.; Zhao, L.; Xie, H.; Liu, B.; Li, H.; Cui, Ying; and Ma, Yan, "Lake Surface Water Temperature Change over the Tibetan Plateau from 2001 to 2015A Sensitive Indicator of the Warming Climate" (2018). Department of Earth and Environmental Studies Faculty Scholarship and Creative Works. 384.